Instagram is starting to experiment with the marquee feature of the iPhone 6S — pressure-sensitive 3D Touch presses — to let users interact with advertising and then buy the item using the Apple Pay mobile payments system. The photo-sharing social network first launched a "Shop Now" button in June, wherein it would let users jump to a purchase screen on an ad similar to other buy buttons now popping up on Twitter and Pinterest. Now the Facebook-owned company appears to be getting more creative with its money-making tactics, according to a report today from Digiday.
3D Touch, which registers when you press harder on the iPhone 6S screen, would allow advertisers to place multiple images inside one ad that users could scroll through with thumb presses. Apple Pay integration would let you pay with your fingerprint instead of inputting credit card info. For restaurants or retail outlets, this could mean different menu items or different colors of a piece of clothing that you scroll through and then purchase right there within the app. In a statement, an Instagram spokesperson denied testing the new feature, but said "mobile commerce is definitely a space we are looking at closely."
Interactivity is coming to Instagram... for ads
Instagram is walking a fine line with its ad efforts. Early ad initiatives on the platform felt less intrusive because the company carefully considered each and urged advertisers to make them feel like organic photos. But ad quality has fallen off of late as Instagram gears up the amount of brand-bought photos appearing in its app. 3D Touch and Apple Pay may allow advertisers to liven up their posts and give users more value than a standalone and spam-like photo.
Update at 5:55PM, Friday, November 6: Adding statement from Instagram.