Instagram Just Introduced a Clever New Feature That Could Make It Even More Addicting (And Advertisers Very Happy)

instagram new feature

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Ever notice how the Instagram ads in your feed are eerily on-point? It’s like Instagram knows what you want to buy before even you do.

That’s because Instagram excels at targeting you based on your interests and who you follow. Now, you’ll be able to buy that stuff directly in Instagram. The platform just announced a new feature called Checkout.

Instead of tapping an Instagram post and being redirected to a retailer’s website to buy, you’ll be able to enter your payment information directly in the Instagram app. Nike, H&M, Warby Parker, and Zara are a few of the 23 retailers participating in rolling out the feature’s launch.

Instagram says 130 million users tap product tags in shopping posts each month. “Checkout is just one part of our long-term investment in shopping,” the company said in their announcement. “We’re excited to introduce even more ways for people to enjoy shopping on Instagram this year.”

New revenue streams for Facebook

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced a massive shift toward private messaging across the company’s platforms, which include Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. Zuckerberg said the company would be working to develop end-to-end encryption between messages, meaning no third parties (not even Facebook) would be able to read them.

This left many wondering how Facebook would be able to stay profitable. If Facebook were to go all-in on private messaging, they’d lose a huge chunk of their ability to target users for ads.

With this announcement, it’s clear that Facebook is working towards diversifying their revenue streams. Though News Feed is still very much alive (complete with sponsored ads), many tech journalists have noted that these recent developments signal it’s losing steam.

Instagram Checkout will accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and PayPal. Payments will be processed in partnership with PayPal.