Instagram, one of the social networking sites owned by Meta, has today announced through its, CEO, Mark Zuckerberg that the company is launching a new “payments in chat” feature on Instagram. This new feature will allow users to purchase products from small businesses and track orders via direct messages on Instagram in the United States.
To begin using the new feature, users will have to send a direct message to a qualified small business from which they wish to purchase. They will then be able to pay, track their order, and ask the company any follow-up questions in the same chat thread. According to the company, users frequently chat about their orders with businesses via DMs on Instagram before purchasing, but they will now be able to pay sellers directly within their Instagram chat thread. According to Meta, purchasing through DMs also grants users access to in-app chat support.
“You can now buy products from small businesses and track your order in chat on Instagram in the US,” Zuckerberg said in the announcement post. “Pay with Meta Pay and check out in a few taps.”
According to a screenshot shared by Meta, once a buyer has decided to make a purchase, the seller can create a payment request. When a user clicks the “Pay” button, they will be prompted to enter and review their payment and shipping information. According to the screenshot, “your payment will be processed by PayPal.”
Meta says small businesses in the United States that do not currently use Shops will be able to discuss products, create orders with customer details, and accept payments – all without having to switch to another app. When a company is ready, it can use Shops on Instagram and Facebook to create a digital storefront.
According to the company, one billion people message a business each week via its family of apps, whether they’re chatting with brands, browsing products, or requesting help.
The launch of the new feature coincides with Meta’s official rebranding of Facebook Pay to Meta Pay last month. People’s current product features and overall user experience with Facebook Pay remain consistent across Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. Although the service will remain the same, Zuckerberg stated at the time of the rebrand that the rename represents Meta’s first step toward creating a digital wallet for the metaverse. He claims that his vision for a metaverse digital wallet will allow users to securely manage their identities, what they own, and how they pay.
Although the new offering isn’t yet available to users outside the United States, but one can tell that it is only a matter of when and not if the product will be available to the over 78 million Instagram users in Africa anytime soon.