Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) to Add Appointments Booking Feature to Instagram

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Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s photo-sharing app, Instagram, will soon allow users to book appointments with businesses, Bloomberg News reported March 22.

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The new feature will benefit both customers and businesses. For example, it will let people book an appointment with their favorite salon by visiting the salon’s Instagram profile. The salon will be able to be recognized by its followers as well as to launch new marketing campaigns in a very easy way.

Instagram has 600 million monthly active users. James Quarles, head of business at Instagram, said that 80% of Instagram’s users follow a business. Currently, about 8 million businesses use profiles on Instagram. The company is working to link those profiles to Facebook business profiles, according to Quarles.

The new feature, which is expected to be rolled out in the next couple months, could challenge companies like Priceline Group’s OpenTable and Yelp, according to the report.

Also, the app’s more than 1 million active advertisers will have “a more concrete way to measure the impact of their accounts,” Quarles said.

“When someone books an appointment, that’s not a ‘like’ or a ‘follow,’ that’s actual action,” Quarles said.

Instagram Becoming Important to Facebook

A report from The Motley Fool suggests that investors will look to Facebook’s Instagram as a key catalyst for growth this year.

Instagram now has 1 million active advertisers, compared to 200,000 advertisers a year ago.

The app’s business profiles grew to 1.5 million by Facebook’s third-quarter earnings call in last November and to 5 million by the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call in February.

According to the report, the app’s business profile is attracting businesses because it gives them “an easy way to be recognized by followers by providing contact information and centralizing company posts.” Also, business profiles allow businesses to quickly view insights about followers and posts and launch new marketing campaigns in a very easy way.

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