Instagram begins trials on in-app payments to help you insta-pay

With more than a million advertisers and 25 million businesses now on Instagram, the latest feature to undergo trials by the social media company will surprise few.

As per TechCrunch, a new feature for faster shopping is showing for select users. It lets you enter payment details into the app, along with a PIN for extra security. If you have the new tool, you’ll find it in your profile settings under “payment settings.”

Once set-up is complete, there are opportunities — very few at this stage, it appears — to use the feature to make advance payments for bookings at places like salons.

Instagram has confirmed the trial and says in future it could be used for a range of services, such as booking movie tickets.

While the popular photo- and video-sharing app already offers shopping opportunities via tagged items shown in an image, making a purchase currently involves navigating a pop-out page and completing various steps, including entering payment details for each new merchant.

But the new in-app feature is more integrated and keeps users within the app instead of losing them while they make payments via the merchant’s system. For users, staying in the app to complete a transaction will bring added convenience, and with payment details already stored, it will mean fewer purchasing steps with each business, paving the way for a more seamless shopping experience. Shoppers can also view a record of their purchases from multiple merchants in just a few taps.

Instagram signaled its intention in March of last year to allow bookings for services directly from profiles, but at the time said nothing about native payments. Going by the company’s comments at the time, it seems that the testing of in-app payments has come a little later than expected.

But now that the trial is up and running, it might not be too long before it’s rolled out to the entire Instagram community, brands and businesses included.

Weaving commerce more deeply into social media apps offers potentially huge rewards for companies behind the apps, as well as those with products to sell.

Rival social media platform Snapchat recently started offering businesses the opportunity to sell products directly from a Snapchat filter.

Instagram says that more than 80 percent of its 800 million-plus users follow a business on the social network. With numbers like that, the Facebook-owned company will be keen to build out its shopping services to draw in more advertisers and boost revenue even further.

Instagram hasn’t said when it plans to roll the service out more widely, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated with any developments.

Social Media

No yolk! A photo of an egg has become the most-liked post on Instagram

Until this weekend, the most-liked post on Instagram was of Kylie Jenner's baby daughter, which has around 18 million likes. It's now been knocked off the top spot not by a stunning sunset or even a cute cat, but by an egg.

Text up a storm with the best messaging apps for iOS and Android

These days, most people tend to favor digital messages over phone calls. We have the best messaging apps that allow you to share photos and documents, send text messages, and more with end-to-end encryption.
Social Media

Here’s how to save someone’s Instagram Story to your phone

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.

Turn to these apps to help you in your next hunt for a job

Looking for a job can be a stressful experience, but these days, a simple mobile app can help you to find and apply for jobs all over the country -- here are some of the best job search apps for iOS and Android.

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Social Media

Invite your friends — Facebook Events can now be shared to Stories

Facebook is testing a way to make plans with friends to attend an event -- through Stories. By sharing an event in Facebook Stories, users can message other friends interested in the event to make plans to attend together.
Social Media

A quick swipe will soon let you keep bingeing YouTube on mobile devices

The YouTube mobile app has a new, faster way to browse: Swiping. Once the update rolls out, users can swipe to go to the next (or previous) video in the recommended list, even while viewing in full screen.

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.
Social Media

Twitter extends its new timeline feature to Android users

Twitter users with an Android device can now quickly switch between an algorithm-generated timeline and one that shows the most recent tweets first. The new feature landed for iPhone users last month.
Social Media

YouTube to crack down on dangerous stunts like the ‘Bird Box’ challenge

YouTube already bans content showing dangerous activities, but new rules published by the site go into greater detail regarding potentially harmful challenges and pranks, including certain blindfold- or laundry detergent-based stunts.
Social Media

Nearly 75 percent of U.S. users don’t realize Facebook tracks their interests

Did you know Facebook tracks your interests, including political and multicultural affiliations? According to a recent Pew study, 74 percent of adult users in the U.S. have no idea Facebook keeps a running list of your interests.

It’s back! Here’s how to switch to Twitter’s reverse chronological feed

Twitter has finally brought back the reverse chronological feed, allowing you to see your feed based on the newest tweets, rather than using Twitter's algorithm that shows what it thinks you want to see. It's easy to switch.
Social Media

Nearly a million Facebook users followed these fake Russian accounts

Facebook purged two separate groups behind more than 500 fake accounts with Russian ties. One group had ties to Russian news agency Sputnik, while the other had behavior similar to the Internet Research Agency's midterm actions.