Businesses on Instagram Are Getting Calls to Action, Direct Messaging Improvements

Select partners are featuring CTA buttons


Instagram followed up its limited rollout of native payments with the addition of call-to-action buttons on select business profiles, as well as new ways for businesses to organize their Instagram Direct messages.

Director of product management, business Vishal Shah said 80 percent of consumers follow businesses on Instagram, with 200 million users visiting business profiles daily. He added that the new features were launched with the aim of “moving Instagram from a place where business is discovered to a place where business is done.”

Shah pointed out that roughly one half of the businesses on Instagram don’t have websites, relying on the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network as their primary point of contact.

The Book, Get Tickets, Reserve or Start Order buttons are now available via the business profiles of the following Instagram partners:

  • Acuity
  • Atom Tickets
  • Booksy
  • ChowNow
  • Eatstreet
  • Eventbrite
  • Fandango
  • GrubHub
  • MyTime
  • OpenTable
  • Reserve
  • Restorando
  • Resy
  • SevenRooms
  • StyleSeat
  • Tock
  • Yelp
Instagram's new Get Tickets button on the business profile of an EventBrite affiliate
Instagram's new Reserve button on the business profile of a Reserve affiliate
Instagram's new Book button on the business profile of a StyleSeat affiliate

The following businesses will soon be getting the CTA treatment as well:

  • Appointy
  • Genbook
  • LaFourchette
  • Mindbody
  • Schedulicity
  • SetMore
  • Shedul
  • Vagaro

“As more people continue to interact with businesses on Instagram and take action when inspiration strikes, we’re making it easier to turn that discovery into action,” Instagram said in a blog post detailing the new features.

The platform gave the example of HomeState (@homestate), a popular Texas restaurant that “partnered with ChowNow to use the Start Order button, letting its customers order its signature tacos right from its Instagram business profile,” reads the blog post.

Shah said Instagram has been attempting versions of these CTA buttons for a little while, adding that the goal is to “directly link discovery of that business to eventual action.”

Instagram also revealed that more than 150 million people have Instagram Direct conversations with businesses every month—with one-third of those messages originating from Instagram Stories—and it announced the following changes to its messaging feature.

“High-value” messages from customers will now appear in businesses’ main Direct inbox, rather than in the pending folder, and those conversations can be filtered by read, unread and a new status, starred.

Shah said a “set of signals” will determine which messages go into the pending inbox and which make it to the main inbox, adding, “Customers interact with businesses via comments. A conversation may begin in comments and end up in Direct. This will be evolving over time.”

Finally, Instagram will begin testing quick replies for Instagram Direct messages from businesses, enabling them to more efficiently respond to queries.

Shah said Instagram is taking a “very specific approach” to these quick replies, adding, “This is not about automated responses or pre-canned responses: It’s about removing some of the friction. Changes can be made to quick replies, and businesses have the opportunity to add their authentic voices.” David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.