- Instagram has added the ability to make payments within its chat function, allowing users to order, pay for and track goods while messaging with small businesses in the app, parent company Meta announced Monday in a news release.
- The feature allows small businesses that have a professional account on Instagram to create payment requests and collect payments from customers. A spokesperson said the capability will be rolled out to 300,000 U.S. small businesses in the coming weeks.
- To make use of the capability, shoppers must have an account with Meta Pay, the company’s digital wallet, a spokesperson said. “You can now buy products from small businesses and track your order in chat on Instagram in the U.S.,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on his Instagram account Monday. “Pay with Meta Pay and checkout in a few taps.”
Across Meta’s apps, which also include Facebook, Messenger and WhatsApp, about one billion people send messages to businesses each week, the company said in the release. Menlo Park, California-based Meta said it wants to help people “find and buy products they love in an easy, seamless experience, right from the chat thread,” per the release.
Social commerce has exploded in recent years, with TikTok, Pinterest and Snapchat also in on the shift. Monday’s move enables more purchasing to occur directly within the Instagram app. Meta also likely envisions the added capability bolstering the number of users across its apps who have Meta Pay accounts.
A spokesperson didn’t immediately respond Monday when asked about the number of Meta Pay accounts or how this move might increase that number.
In June, the company said Facebook Pay was being renamed Meta Pay, in keeping with the its broader name change. Meta Pay allows consumers to send money, shop or donate across the company’s apps, and some online retailers also use the payment method to accept payments. Users can load credit and debit cards, PayPal and Shop Pay information into the digital wallet.
If an Instagram user messages a small business with a question about one of its products or a request to personalize an item, the shopper can order and pay for the product directly within the message. For businesses not currently using the Instagram feature that allows them to sell to consumers, the new capability enables them to create orders and accept payments.