Social media is about to become a lot more monetized. On Tuesday (June 2), both Pinterest and Instagram announced the addition of buy buttons to their posts. The two social networks join Twitter and Facebook, both of which which made strides in integrated e-commerce last year.
No longer will Pinterest users have to follow a product back to its home page to purchase it. The addition of Buyable Pins will roll out on iOS later this month, with the feature coming to Android and Pinterest's website later this year.
Over 2 million products will become Buyable Pins, giving users the ability to buy whatever is being advertised in the pin via credit card or Apple Pay. A blue price tag will appear on Buyable Pins, which, when clicked on, will bring the buyer to a new page with a “Buy it” button next to a normal “Pin it” one. If the user clicks the “Buy it” button, an order screen within the social network will pop up. Some retailers to expect right away are Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Neiman Marcus.
At MIT’s EmTech Digital Conference on June 1, Pinterest head of partnerships Tim Kendall showed off mockups of other action buttons, including a FreshDirect “Get Ingredients Delivered” button and Amazon “Add to wish list” or “Add to cart” buttons.
Instagram also announced that it will add buy buttons to select photos, along with “Install Now,” and “Sign Up” buttons. Similar to Pinterest, these buttons will not take you out of the social network. Instead, they will open up a mini-browser which will bring you back to Instagram once you finish your download or purchase. Instagram will gradually roll out its action buttons, beginning with a test run later this week in Spain, according to TechCrunch.
"The thing users have been asking us for a while is the ability to buy," explained Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann at its San Francisco headquarters on Tuesday.
Right now, these buy buttons are free, likely to seduce retailers. Even Google may hop aboard soon; last week Google SVP and Chief Business Officer Omid Kordestanik said that a Buy Button is “imminent” in the search giant's future.
What will be interesting to see is if all these buy buttons destroy the fun of social media. So far, Facebook and Twitter aren’t suffering for their use of integrated advertising, so the move may be a smart one for these additive networks.
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