On Monday, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared a post on his personal Instagram account announcing a new feature: the ability for people to complete payments directly within chat on the popular social-media app.
“You can now buy products from small businesses and track your order in chat on Instagram in the US. Pay with Meta Pay and checkout in a few taps,” read Zuckerberg’s post.
More specifically, Instagram users will send a message to a small business and within the same chat thread, they can use whichever preferred payment method they have previously set up with Meta's payment offering to buy, track their order and ask follow-up questions.
According to an email from a Meta spokesperson, one billion people message a business across Instagram, Facebook, What’sApp, and Messenger weekly to chat with brands, browse products, or ask for customer support.
Hootsuite reported that 90% of Instagram users follow at least one business, and 2 in 3 people think the platform fosters meaningful connections with brands.
Zuckerberg's post featured a screenshot of a chat with a surfer reaching out to a surf company –– Jaws Surf –– to ask about preferences surrounding the company’s surfboard offerings: “Which board is best for 360s?”
After the customer is given a recommendation, they are able to click “Pay” mid-chat for exactly what they want.
Customers have been using Instagram as a means to communicate with brands for years, but this immediate payment option is intended to facilitate an even more direct link between consumer and seller.
The spokesperson added that small businesses based in the U.S. who do not use “Shops” –- which allows one to set up a digital storefront on Instagram and Facebook –– will now be able to discuss products, create orders with customer details, and accept payments without having to switch to another app.=