Instagram is gearing up to become a major shopping and commerce platform in the near future, with the introduction of support for payments.
TechCrunch reports that the company is presently testing a feature to allow some business accounts in the US and the UK to accept payments natively for booking restaurant tables; the same functionality will work for things like appointments at a salon, as well as tickets to events and movie screenings.
As for shopping, the app already has ‘shoppable tags‘ on posts: merchants can tag items in pictures with a price and a link that takes you straight to the product page on their sites. It’s easy to see how this might eventually be upgraded to support payments for those products right within the app, instead of having users leave it and complete their transactions in a browser tab.
I, for one, am stoked about this. I’ve written before about how I’ve found Instagram to be immensely useful in curating things I like for my home and my wardrobe, and how I’ve discovered several of my favorite apparel brands here in India through its ads. Bringing commerce into the app would save me a bunch of taps and make shopping a little less painful.
The platform reported having 800 million monthly users worldwide back in September 2017, and it’s likely that the number has grown since then. That’s certainly enough reason to experiment with enabling payments in arguably the world’s largest window shopping experience.
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