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Instagram now lets you buy products right through chat

Instagram’s latest chat feature has nothing to do with chat themes and everything to do with being able to pay for products via direct message.

On Monday, Instagram’s parent company, Meta, announced the new payment-by-chat feature via a tweet.

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Now you can make purchases and track orders directly in chats with small businesses on @instagram in the US 🛍

— Meta Newsroom (@MetaNewsroom) July 18, 2022

Essentially, with this new feature, Instagram users can contact a small business via Instagram chat, place an order for a product from that business, and then pay for it all within the chat interface.

According to the official statement announcing the new feature, customers can expect to use the new functionality to “ask questions, make a purchase and track your order.” Payments are completed via Meta Pay and processed by PayPal. Small businesses can expect the new feature to allow them to create and send payment requests, chat with their customers, and receive their payments. Payment requests will include an item description and a listed price.

Two mobile screenshots showing the new Instagram chat payment functionality in action on a white background.

Instagram already has help guides about how to sell products using the new chat payment feature. In those guides, it’s made clear that sellers must have a business account on Instagram and be willing to provide personal information (such as an address and a Social Security number) in order to be eligible to sell via DM. Regarding that personal information, Instagram says it is “required by our payment partner, PayPal. This information won’t be visible or shared on Instagram.”

It’s also worth noting that businesses on Instagram only receive the payment around three to five days after the product has been sent to the buyer and the item’s payment has been marked as “sent” by the seller in the app. Sellers have to mark the payment as “sent” (after sending the product) or they won’t get paid.

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