As Instagram moves closer to becoming the next billion-user platform, it’s also expanding its use-case potential, consistently adding in new features and tools designed to capitalize on audience behaviors.
Shopping Tags streamline the product discovery process through the platform, but you still need to tap on a link to a company website in order to make a purchase. That could also be about to change – according to TechCrunch, the platform’s now rolling out a new native payments feature, which lets you register a debit or credit card as part of your profile, and will enable you to buy things without ever leaving the app.
In-stream purchasing would be a big move for Instagram. As per the platform’s own data, over 80% of users already follow a business, with 200 million Instagrammers actively visiting at least one business profile every day. That indicates the size of the potential opportunity – in addition, two-thirds of visits to business profiles on the platform come from people who aren’t following that business.
Clearly, product discovery is already prevalent within the app – enabling users to make impulse buys based on that activity will undoubtedly prove popular, and could help give Instagram marketing a significant boost.
As with most of the platform’s moves, Instagram’s rolling out its shopping tools slowly – Shopping Tags are gradually becoming more available, while this latest option is currently only appearing on some profiles. Wary of the potential to spoil the user experience, Instagram knows it needs to tread lightly, testing the waters at each step. But given the evolution of the platform, and the aforementioned popularity of business content within the app, it makes sense that these tools will see a wider roll-out in the near future.
For brands that are already active on Instagram, that opens up immediate opportunities, while those that have not yet made an investment into building an Instagram community may want to start looking into it – with the most significant benefit clearly for B2C businesses.
The moves will also ensure Instagram remains competitive with Pinterest, which itself is evolving into a dedicated eCommerce platform.