The Facebook owned photo sharing app Instagram, is spotted testing a new payment feature that let users make purchases directly within the mobile app. This comes after adding the ability to make payments in Messenger and WhatsApp. However, Instagram’s rival Snapchat added its native payments solution called Snapcash long time ago.
According to a report in TechCrunch, Instagram is reportedly set to use its native payments option to offer a seamless experience to its partners. An Instagram spokesperson confirmed that this payments feature will allow users to book appointments like at restaurants or salons, but currently for a limited set of partners. Further, restaurant booking app Resy has emerged as one of the early partners that offer a dedicated payments option for booking a table directly from its Instagram Page. This is notably available for some of Resy clients at present. This new payment feature on Instagram is visible for some users in the US and UK and payments are powered by Facebook’s Payments rules. The report also adds that Instagram will allow users to pay directly for things like movie tickets, etc in the future.
Instagram’s latest testing of the payments feature is to transform its platform from not just being a photo sharing network, but to be a one stop shop that hosts photos, videos and enables e-commerce operations. In 2016, Instagram started testing Shoppable Tags on its platform to help users find their favourite products directly from a post and then buy it from their brands’ sites. However, still it is unclear when Instagram is planning to roll out payments feature for the public.
The users who have received the new payments feature on their app. All you need to do is simply add your debit or credit card and then set a security PIN to start making purchases straight within Instagram mobile app. A specification Payments option has apparently been added to the Instagram Options list to enable the new experience. But again, this is right now available only for some users.
Earlier, Facebook owned WhatsApp added a payments option that is available in India and is based on UPI (Unified Payments Interface). Facebook Messenger also added a peer-to-peer payments feature by collaborating with PayPal. However, we should wait and see, whether Instagram will also decide to launch peer-to-peer payments on its platform.
Other than the payments feature, Facebook, at its developer F8 conference, announced about rolling out a group Video chat feature for Instagram with four people in one call. Video chat feature, which is currently in testing will be available in Direct messaging. Soon, it is expected to roll out globally. The AR Camera platform that Facebook announced at the 2017 F8 conference will also be added to the photo-sharing platform and Instagram’s Explore feed is also expected get revamped.