Instagram has begun testing various ads that will allow users to shop for everything from clothing to menu items at local restaurants, integrating new iPhone features like 3D Touch and Apple Pay as well (via Digiday). The social network has had ads appear in users' feeds for a while now, but hopes that more unobtrusive shopping experiences that keep users in the app itself will attract bigger brands to the service.
“From an innovation standpoint, Instagram is where a lot of brands are putting the most eggs,” said an ad agency executive familiar with the tests. “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.”
3D Touch integration will let users press harder on the ad to toggle between various selections from a clothing brand, for instance. The addition of Apple Pay aims to add to the "frictionless shopping" experience by letting users purchase something they see directly within Instagram, without having to visit the brand's own app or Safari to complete the purchase.
Instagram, owned by Facebook, is attempting to get a cut from the sales of many of the products that its service generates naturally, according to Digiday's sources. Some of those sources fear Instagram's commercialization due to the heavily-marketed advertisements being tested on the platform, suggesting the photo-focused service is best left as a "branding opportunity" for companies and leaving the sales portion to its parent site, Facebook.