Shopping on Instagram is about to become a lot easier with the launch of its new native payments feature.
Instagram quietly began rolling out the feature this week for some users, giving them the option to register a debit or credit card, set up a security PIN and begin buying products without leaving the app at all.
Before the native payment option, users could tap the app’s Shoppable Tag to purchase products they are interested in, but they would be sent directly to the brand’s website.
TechCrunch first reported on the feature after a reader tipped the site off. An Instagram spokesperson confirmed native payments for booking restaurant reservations or salon appointments are now live for a limited set of business partners.
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In March 2017, Instagram announced it would "roll out the ability to book a service with a business directly from their profile," but there was no mention of native payments.
With the new option, brands popular on Instagram may find a new, successful business venue in the app’s native commerce feature. For users, this would also make the transaction more convenient. With payment details already stored, users can make quick purchases without leaving the app.
According to Instagram's terms of service, the app is backed by Facebook Payments' rules. But while Facebook has peer-to-peer payments via Messenger, it's unclear whether the same would become available for Instagram. The option of adding a credit or debit card on file, however, is a "critical building block to that feature," according to TechCrunch.
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"Instagram Payments could make impulse buys much quicker, enticing more businesses to get on board," TechCrunch reported. "Even if Instagram takes no cut of the revenue, brands are likely to boost ad spend to get their shoppable posts seen by more people if the native payments mean more of them actually complete a purchase."
The new feature is available for some but not all users in the U.S. It should start rolling out for all users over the next few weeks.
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