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Just press harder — Instagram experimenting with 3D Touch ads and Apple Pay

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Remember when Instagram was just another ad-less platform? If your memory doesn’t extend past two years, probably not — the photo-sharing platform first launched sponsored posts way back in November 2013. But given the breakneck speed at which both the tech and the advertising industries move, it’s no wonder that less than 800 days later, Instagram is taking things to the next level — and this time, it’s not about its filters. Instagram is now testing 3D Touch ads that allow you to purchase various items with Apple Pay, integrating a whole slew of high-tech innovations in an effort to get you to, well, spend some cash (or the digital equivalent).

In an effort to create ads that are more interactive (because what’s worse than an ad that you just have to look at?), Instagram is applying 3D Touch technology, which will allow viewers to scroll through different aspects or components of a photo, all by varying the degree of pressure they apply to the ad. This way, as Instagram and advertisers hope, viewers will interact with various parts of an ad, thereby becoming more engaged as they alternately find their way from a cute hoodie to some killer kicks, all by changing up how hard they press down on their screen.

This, combined with Apple Pay, which would allow potential buyers to make purchases with their fingerprints, does seem like a serious exploration of all the newest software made available by the new iOS.

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“From an innovation standpoint, Instagram is where a lot of brands are putting the most eggs,” one ad agency executive told Digiday. “Force touch gets interesting, because instead of quickly tapping Shop Now to buy this one thing, you can choose from two or three offers. It makes for more frictionless shopping.”

This “frictionless shopping” experience is nothing new for the photo app, which also recently launched a Shop Now button to drive further sales for its advertisers.

Instagram — it’s not just a pretty face. It’s a ruthless selling machine.