This famous photo-app has come a long way — pictures don't just say a thousand words. You can soon book appointments through them, too.
Instagram users scrolling through their feeds will have a new way to interact with the businesses they admire. A sleek hair salon showing off the latest dos? A stylish restaurant boasting a decadent, plated dish? According to Bloomberg, within the next few months, consumers will be able to go to these brands' accounts and schedule a reservation with the tap of a button.
The new feature will give Instagram's more than 1 million active advertisers a more concrete way to measure the impact of their accounts, Instagram's head of business, James Quarles, said.
"When someone books an appointment, that's not a 'like' or a 'follow.' That's actual action," he added, also hinting that the company is considering adding other tools like reviews to its utility belt.
You might not guess it from the plant-based meals on @chocolateforbasil, but Jerrelle Guy, 26, is an omnivore. When she met her partner, who is a vegetarian for health reasons, she started cooking meatless meals that satisfied comfort-food cravings. “I’m fascinated by the emotional side of food,” says Jerrelle, who decided to study gastronomy — food through the lens of culture, history and anthropology. “Making somebody want to eat something is powerful. How can I do something positive with that?” For the Boston-based blogger, the answer is simple: help people eat healthier. “In my family, if meat isn’t on the plate, it’s not a meal. It’s a fun challenge to make vegetarian food really appealing, so that they want to dive right in. I’m not asking anybody to be a vegan. But I want people to look at this healthy food porn and drool over it. Think, ‘Wow, maybe I could eat that.’” Photo by @chocolateforbasil
Baker Olivia Bogacki (@livforcake) turns to cozy, seasonal desserts every time Halloween rolls around. “I love pumpkins, cinnamon, nutmeg — all of these flavors say fall to me,” says Olivia, who is based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Olivia was introduced to cake decorating in 2009 when she took a class at a local crafts store, and in 2014, she decided to continue her education by going to pastry school. “Cakes, for sure, are my favorite thing to do,” she says. “The most challenging part is that baking tends to be very precise, and I often have a vision of what I want the final product to look like. Most of the time it doesn’t get there and I want to redo it.” Her favorite part? When the cakes do live up to her standards, or even exceed them. Olivia will be celebrating this Halloween with horror movies, handing out candy to trick-or-treaters and digging into a slice or two, of course, of cake. Photo by @livforcake
And why is this a big deal? Instagram has already implemented other call-to-action features, such as messaging, phone calls, and maps, but this new tool promises even more gaugeable success. There are currently about 8 million businesses with Instagram accounts. Eighty percent of Instagram's more than 600 million monthly users follow one of these business profiles. The monetization potential is vast.
What does this mean for the restaurant industry? With another way for customers to book reservations, this feature could pit Instagram directly against other online and mobile reservation services, such as Yelp and OpenTable. Which apps will be able to handle the heat and which ones will have to stay out of the kitchen? Only time will tell. Will you book your reservation through Instagram when this option rolls out? How do you think it can impact your restaurant? Read More