- Fandango, GrubHub, Yelp Reservations, OpenTable and Eventbrite are among the new partners for Instagram's action buttons, which were first introduced last week, the company said on Tuesday. The app's "action buttons" will let businesses offer transactions like service scheduling, order taking, ticketing and reservation booking without the need for Instagram users to leave the app.
- Fandango added a "Buy Tickets" button to its Instagram profile to streamline its mobile ticket-ordering system and reduce the number of inquiries businesses receive via direct message, Fandango announced. Other companies taking advantage of action buttons on Instagram are Acuity, Atom Tickets, Booksy, ChowNow, Eatstreet, MyTime, Reserve, Restorando, Resy, SevenRooms, StyleSeat and Tock.
- Instagram is also trying to make one-on-one messaging easier for businesses of all sizes. Important new customer messages are sent to the business' main inbox instead of the pending folder. Businesses also can star and filter conversations to make responding easier while a test for quick replies to respond to common questions is expected to launch in a few weeks.
Instagram continues to evolve as a direct marketing platform, in addition to providing a place for brands to advertise or showcase their wares with social influencers. The expansion of action buttons is a step toward moving potential customers from discovery to action while signaling how Instagram's is trying to lure more companies to the platform. Instagram said more companies will be adding action buttons soon, including Appointy, Genbook, LaFourchette, MindBody, Schedulicity, SetMore, Shedul and Vagaro.
The additional Instagram Direct features come just one week after the app began testing a native payments feature to let users store credit card information and make purchases directly inside the app more quickly. By making Instagram more transactional for businesses, Facebook can parlay its network of connections with companies to sell more product advertising on its image-sharing app, pointing to a potential area for growth.
More than 150 million Instagram users each month have a conversation with businesses through the app's messaging platform, highlighting the need for functions specific to business profiles. One-third of those messages begins with an Instagram Story, the feature that strings together images and videos in a single post that disappears after 24 hours. The Facebook-owned app has more than 800 million users worldwide and more than 200 million of them visit a business profile each day, Instagram says.