Watch Out, Yelp and OpenTable: New Instagram Booking Feature May Be a Restaurant Game Changer

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. 

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