Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced today that the company is launching a new “payments in chat” feature on Instagram. With this new feature, users can purchase products from small businesses and track orders via direct messages on Instagram in the United States.
To use the new feature, users can start by sending a direct message to a qualified small business they’re interested in buying from. In that same chat thread, they’ll then be able to pay, track their order and ask the business any follow-up questions. The company says users often chat about their orders with businesses via DMs on Instagram before purchasing, but will now be able to pay sellers directly within their Instagram chat thread. Purchasing via DMs also gives users access to in-app chat support, Meta says.
“You can now buy products from small businesses and track your order in chat on Instagram in the US,” Zuckerberg said in the announcement post. “Pay with Meta Pay and checkout in a few taps.”
A screenshot shared by Meta shows that once a buyer has decided to make a purchase, the seller can create a request for payment. Once a user selects the “Pay” button, they will be asked to add and review their payment information and shipping address. The screenshot notes that “your payment will be processed by PayPal.”
Meta notes that small businesses in the United States who currently don’t use Shops will now be able to discuss products, create orders with customer details, and accept payments – without having to switch to another app. When a business is ready to set up a digital storefront, they can use Shops on Instagram and Facebook.
The company says one billion people message a business across its family of apps each week, whether it’s chatting with brands, browsing products or asking for support.
The launch of the new feature comes as Meta officially renamed Facebook Pay to Meta Pay last month. The current product features and overall user experience that people are used to with Facebook Pay remain the same across across Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. At the time of the rebrand, Zuckerberg said although the service will remain the same, the rename represents Meta’s first step toward creating a digital wallet for the metaverse. He says his vision for a digital wallet in the metaverse will let users securely manage their identities, what they own and how they pay.