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Instagram Wants You To Shop Without Leaving The App: Here's How Checkout Works

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There is a much more convenient way now for shoppers to take home that beautiful set of makeup or that pair of shoes they've been eyeing for a long time on Instagram.

The company has introduced Checkout, an in-app option that allows users to immediately purchase products on the go. With this option, Instagram users can store payment information on the app and in return, Instagram will charge retail companies for a selling fee.

Before Checkout, purchasing items on Instagram often redirected the user to a web view on the site of the retailer, which often caused frustration among customers. Now, Instagram believes that Checkout will let users finish their purchase and inspire them to shop more.

How Instagram Checkout Works

When users scroll through feed and see a product they would like to purchase, all they need to do is to tap to view the gray tag on the product. Then, they will automatically see a "Checkout on Instagram" button on the product page.

Next, users can tap the button to select various options for the product, such as size or color, then they will proceed to payment directly.

What users need to enter is the necessary payment information such as name, e-mail address, billing information, and shipping address if it's the first time that they make a purchase. According to the website, users will be able to buy products using Mastercard, Visa, Discover, PayPal, and American Express.

The app will save the information so users wouldn't have to repeat the same process once they buy another product. When it comes to delivery, the best part about Checkout is that users will also receive notifications about shipment right inside Instagram. This will help keep track of the purchase.

A Big Business Venture

As of writing, Instagram Checkout is only currently available in closed beta for companies and businesses in the United States. Some brands that have confirmed Checkout are Adidas, H&M, Dior, ColourPop, MAC Cosmetics, Kylie Cosmetics, Nike, Outdoor Voices, Zara, and Prada, among other famous companies.

For the photo and video-sharing social networking service, Checkout is one step closer to becoming a full-fledged commerce business today, The Verge reported.

In fact, the introduction of Checkout could mean well for Instagram's parent company Facebook, which can also store payment information that can be used for Checkout.

Meanwhile, Instagram is excited to roll out its new feature.

"Checkout is just one part of our long-term investment in shopping on Instagram this year," Instagram said in a blog.

More Instagram Updates

Aside from Checkout, Instagram is also planning to add some improvements to its desktop and web versions. The photo-sharing app is allegedly testing out a Direct Messages feature on its web versions for desktop and mobile, one of its employees said.

A reverse-engineering specialist for Instagram revealed to TechCrunch that the company has been conducting internal tests for the web version of the Direct Messages feature. It is still only available to Instagram employees, which will help identify bugs to work on before being eventually introduced to users.

Again, this possible new feature might be a part of Facebook's merger plans, where the company has expressed its intent to combine WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger. This could allow cross-platform messaging in the near future.

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