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TrendsSocial shopping: Instagram launches in-app payments

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Instagram had already made some moves in this direction with Shopping tags, where users click to go directly to a brand’s website to buy a product. Now the company is testing a new tool, a native in-app payment system that will let users make a purchase without even leaving the platform. This will offer an even more immersive experience and close the gap between social network and e-store even more.

Instagram Payments: shopping without leaving the app

This news was first reported by TechCrunch, who said the feature was introduced without an official announcement from the company. At the moment it’s just an experiment, available only to some users in the US or UK, but it could soon span the globe and revolutionize the user experience yet again. Instagram Payments will let users register a credit or debit card with their account. Then, by entering their pin, they can start shopping on Instagram without entering their card info each time, and without even leaving the app.

In addition, the higher ups in the company acquired by Mark Zuckerberg explained that there will be a booking option for a limited number of partners. You’ll be able to book a table at your favourite restaurant or make an appointment with the hairdresser without having to tear your eyes away from the photo on your screen. This very select group will include the booking app Resy, whose partners now offer the Payments feature on Instagram. And it’s not just restaurants. Instagram has also made it known that in the future, users will be able to buy an even wider range of items in-app — from cinema tickets to flights.

Instagram Shopping Online: benefits for brands

The photo-based social network has positioned itself as the kingdom of influencers and therefore a platform that can dictate trends in fashion, luxury and  the food and beverage industries. To support the move towards e-commerce, recent updates have introduced more space for brands to advertise, even in Stories. “It’s a feature that was requested from businesses and advertisers, given the power that they’ve seen through organic stories with multiple pieces of content,” said Susan Rose, Director of Product Marketing.

It was exactly this feature that badly damaged the growth of their competition, Snapchat. Instagram Payments could now further thwart the limited success of Snap Store.

Paying for a purchase without leaving Instagram could make users more keen to shop on the social network, and as a result, make companies keen to spend more on ads. Not to mention that if they’re not sent to external sites, users tend to spend even more time on the app. The speed and practicality of instagram Payments, and lack of redirects to external e-stores, especially on mobile devices, will lead brands to invest more and more in advertising and sponsored posts.

Nadeesha Dilshani Uyangoda

Nadeesha Dilshani Uyangoda

Editor freelance, blogger, attivista, studentessa. Lettrice ossessiva e scrittrice compulsiva. Italiana per cultura, srilankese per eredità — sempre a metà tra due mondi. Millennial che preferisce la carta, ma si adegua al digitale per paura dell’estinzione.

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