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Instagram shopping is about to get dangerously easy

For now, it's just appointments/reservations.
Rob LeFebvre, @roblef
May 3, 2018
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Rob LeFebvre / Engadget

Last year, Instagram revealed an upcoming appointment-booking feature, another step towards the company's larger plans of becoming a shopping service of sorts. Now TechCrunch reports that the photo-sharing service is quietly adding an electronic payment option for some users, something not mentioned with the previous appointments feature.

Instagram confirmed with TechCrunch that payments for booking appointments for restaurants or salons is currently live "for a limited set of partners." The site notes that dinner reservation app Resy has clients whose Instagram Pages offer native payments for booking a table. Instagram also told TechCrunch that users can look forward to buying things like movie tickets in the future. The feature is different from shopping tags, a feature Instagram added in 2016 that pulls up a retailer's website when you tap through a photo of a product you want to purchase. Given Instagram's emphasis on shopping, it's easy to see native payments being used for even more things in the future.

Update 5/3/18 4:21 PM ET: This post has been updated to clarify when the appointment system was first introduced; it was last year, not last month.

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