Though parent company Facebook did not note the addition during its F8 developer conference this week, Instagram is quietly rolling out a native payment feature, opening up new ecommerce possibilities.
“Adding IG payments will unleash the true power of the platform,” said Ian Wishingrad, founder and creative director at agency BigEyedWish. “It completes the circle and starts to bring social media into the Amazon, ecommerce conversation.”
Oz Etzioni, co-founder and CEO ad tech startup Clinch, agreed. “In our point of view, the biggest potential is with Instagram Stories as a seamless, almost native-like and very effective experience that currently drives high engagement and conversion rates,” said Etzioni.
At F8, Facebook announced several new Instagram features, including Video Chat. Instagram is also redesigning Explore to make it easier for users to discover things of interest.
AR features are also coming to Instagram so creators can design interactive camera experiences, including face filters and world effects. Thanks to such efforts, Instagram appears to be increasingly beating out Snapchat as a preferred platform among influencers and their brand partners.
Over the past year, 92% of marketers and 88% of influencers report using Instagram more often for influencer-marketing campaigns, according to a recent report from Activate.
By contrast, 86% of marketers and 89% of influencers reported using Snapchat less for such campaigns, the influencer-marketing firm formerly known as Bloglovin’ found.
Specifically, 43% of marketers are using Instagram’s Swipe Up features for campaigns, while about one-fifth (21%) are using Story Highlights.
TechCrunch first reported news of Instagram’s native payment feature, on Friday. While confirming the feature, Instagram representatives declined to elaborate on the news.