Instagram Releases Mobile Payments Capability

May 8, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

Marketing via Instagram is a big part of many companies’ operations these days. With good reason, too; people pay attention to Instagram, which makes it a good place to promote products and services. Its heavy attention to visuals doesn’t hurt either; the old saying about a picture being worth a thousand words applies to marketing, too. Instagram is taking its marketing capability one step further with the arrival of a new mobile payments feature that will allow booking reservations and appointments even easier.

The mobile payments program is a little limited right now, reports note, as it’s only available to a few select partners. However, it’s likely that it will expand assuming the early runs go according to plan. Instagram had actually announced the framework of this plan, a booking system, back in March of 2017, but it wasn’t considered a native payments feature at the time.

The current word notes that Instagram Payments, as it’s called, works similarly to Facebook Payments, which was built into the Facebook Messenger app. It’s also operated under the same rules. Some have even projected that the Facebook Payments system was designed as a way to approximate the payment features found in WeChat, which was commonly used as a means to dispense the traditional “red envelopes” for Chinese New Year in a digital fashion. The idea that Instagram would do likewise, meanwhile, really isn’t that far out of line.

It’s honestly not a bad idea for any marketing platform to come with an automated buy-it-now feature. Many marketers acknowledge that one of the biggest problems in marketing is latency: the time between a customer encountering advertising and making the decision to pull a buying trigger. The less time between ad and buy, the better, because in the intervening space, the customer may think better of it, start considering alternatives, and do all sorts of things that make a sale not happen.

A “buy button” for advertising, therefore, has often been a welcome notion, like the impulse-buy racks at a grocery store stuffed full of candy, trinkets and magazines of questionable journalistic integrity. While Instagram’s button is a little limited right now, it might well be a very big part of things in days to come, especially if the marketers get to running with it.