Facebook-owned photo and video social platform Instagram has announced it is to boost its features list for businesses by introducing in-app appointment bookings.
Seemingly aimed towards SMEs, the bookings function was unveiled through a video showing it being used on the business profile of a hairdressing salon – with a five step process highlighted:
- Click ‘Book’ under the bio of the business on its Instagram page
- Select a service type from the list offered by the company
- Choose the variation of the chosen service
- Select your preferred date and time from those available
- Review your appointment and complete your booking
How business owners will be able to link to the booking system to one they already use is unknown, but it should become a seamless method for those providing services. Allowing customers to arrange an appointment through Instagram could be a huge benefit for smaller businesses.
This isn’t the first business feature brought to the table by Instagram, of course. Since being acquired by Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook in 2012 for a whopping $1 billion, the mobile app has launched a number of upgrades specifically for companies:
Business Pages: Allowing customers to contact through calls, emails and texts and get directions to the company’s location.
Insights: Statistic tracking for businesses to keep up to date on how their posts are performing; including reach, impressions and engagement, as well as information on followers to offer a better understanding of the profile’s demographics.
Promote: Giving businesses the option of promoting their best performing Instagram posts, targeting users through data, shared by Facebook, containing information such as gender, age, location, and even individual interests.
An exact launch date for the new booking feature is yet to be announced, though Instagram assures that appointment bookings will be able to be made with a business directly from its profile at some point this year.