Instagram took its next step to become a full-fledged trading business today, announcing that it provides a payment feature to the mobile apps. With the checkout, you can store your payment information with Instagram to make purchases faster. In return, Instagram charges a sales fee for retailers. More than 20 brands will use the box to launch, including Nike, Adidas, Dior, H&M, MAC Cosmetics, Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, Prada, Uniqlo, Warby Parker and Zara.
Items that qualify for payment in the app Now have a big blue "Checkout on Instagram" button below them. Tap it and you'll be asked to enter your email address so that the seller can complete your order. From there, you specify the delivery information and payment method, and after reviewing your details, you can place the order.
Previously, it has been necessary to complete a purchase on Instagram using a pop-up web display on the reseller's website, where users are more likely to leave their shopping carts in frustration. Instagram hopes that people can complete their purchases in the app, inspire them to shop more – and create a great new business for the parent company Facebook, which has recently signaled its expectation of trading and payment to represent the future of the company.
Currently, payment information stored with Facebook will only be used on Instagram. But it's easy to imagine that Facebook lets you use your credentials elsewhere in their family of apps. (The company also works with a separate payment product involving blockchain and WhatsApp.) Meanwhile, Facebook says it will not secure your payment information with other users or with dealers.
Instagram believes that shopping represents a massive new business opportunity. The Verge reported last year that the company is building a stand-alone shopping app. It also said Monday that 130 million people a month are pushing product labels in shopping items.
"Checkout is just part of our long-term investment in shopping," the company said in a blog post. "We're excited to introduce even more ways for people to enjoy shopping on Instagram this year."