A new feature on Instagram will now allow you to essentially purchase items directly on the app. Up until March 26th, Instagram users were sent to the retailer’s website when they wanted to purchase something they saw on a brand’s page, but now Instagram users can have their credit card and shipping information saved on the app. When they see something they like on a brand’s Instagram page, they can easily make a purchase with a few taps within the app itself.
According the the Deutsche Bank, the app will bring in $10 billion in revenue in 2021 alone. Instagram keeps a small percentage from each sale and is even partnering with PayPal to process payments. There is no doubt that this new feature will be successful in generating revenue as the social media app is partnering with well known brands, such as Nike, Adidas, Mac, Michael Kors, and Burberry. However, there are many privacy concerns that may arise from this new feature.
Facebook is notorious for collecting your private data and using the data to advertise products or services you may like. Since Facebook owns Instagram, every purchase you make through the Instagram app will dramatically help Facebook’s advertising business. This is because Facebook now has access to products you actually purchased and Facebookś algorithm will better advertise products catered specifically to you.
Data breaches are also a common occurrence for Facebook. Trusting Instagram with credit card information may be a big risk because this information can easily be accessed by Facebook. For example, in September 2018, a major security breach exposed 50 million Facebook users private data. This new update can lead to hackers trying even harder to get users credit card information.
Jasmeen Walia, a senior at Thomas A. Edison CTE High School, said, “Even though I think this new feature is cool, I don’t think Iĺl ever use it. I could never buy something on a social media app because it doesn’t seem secure to me. If I want to purchase something I see on Instagram, I would directly go on the companyś website.”
Although this new feature may be successful at generating revenue because of the brands Instagram is partnering with, many Instagram users may not even end up using it because of the risks. Only time will tell how successful this new update truly is.