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Grow Your Business Social Media

Instagram Now Lets Users Buy Products

In-App Purchasing Comes to Instagram
Credit: The Yooth/Shutterstock

No longer content to just deal in likes, comments and views, Instagram announced its move into the digital marketplace with "Checkout on Instagram," which the company says will allow users to purchase items directly from brands without leaving the app.

As the feature rolls out over the coming weeks, a blue "Checkout on Instagram" button will appear under images of featured products from an initial group of 20 brands. By tapping on the button, users can complete their order right in the app. All that's required to complete a user's first transaction on the app are their name, email address, billing information and shipping address.

Following this first transaction, officials said users' personal information will be securely stored by Facebook, Instagram's parent company. As an item purchased through Instagram goes through the shipping process, officials said users will receive notifications through the app.

"Since our earliest days, people on Instagram have loved to shop ... Checkout is just one part of our long-term investment in shopping," the company wrote in a blog post. "We're excited to introduce even more ways for people to enjoy shopping on Instagram this year." 

Users will be able to pay with Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover and PayPal. As the program grows, officials said brands could expand their supported payment options to more partners, including Shopify, BigCommerce, ChannelAdvisor and CommerceHub.

While in-app purchases are new to the social media platform, the ability to directly purchase from brands' Instagram pages isn't. Prior to today's announcement, users could complete a transaction on Instagram by following an external web popup of the brand's website.

Ryan Pabelona, director of performance marketing at Revolve, a company involved in the "Checkout on Instagram" program, said the company was "incredibly excited ... to be among the first to offer in-app checkout to our followers."

"At our core, Revolve aspires to create a seamless, elevated shopping experience for our customer," he said. "With Instagram's new checkout interface, we're able to better serve our millennially minded audience by providing a new, fast and easy purchase method on a platform where they are already engaging with our content and discovering our products."

The news comes days after Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in a lengthy blog post that the social media giant will move to enact more privacy measures and introduce encryption to the platform.

While officials at Instagram anticipate "Checkout at Instagram" to roll out to a wider range of brands, the feature is currently in closed beta. The following brands and their respective social media accounts are the only ones currently utilizing the new feature:

Andrew Martins

Andrew Martins is an award-winning journalist with a BA in journalism from Ramapo College of New Jersey. Before joining Business.com and Business News Daily, he wrote for a regional publication and served as the managing editor for six weekly papers that spanned four counties. He is a New Jersey native and a first-generation Portuguese-American, and he has a penchant for the nerdy.