Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, is reportedly rolling out its new QR code feature globally. The new tool will let people open a profile via any camera app that is able to read QR codes — all without opening Instagram.
The Facebook division first launched the feature in Japan last year, The Verge reports. It replaces something called “Nametags,” which were like QR codes, but they could only be scanned from Instagram camera.
The pandemic is pushing businesses to use QR codes. For example, some restaurants are putting QR codes out with their tables, instead of actual menus. Customers then use the QR codes to get the restaurant’s menu.
Similarly, other businesses are using QR codes as an easy access to their websites. These trends make Instagram’s new feature a timely move.
Compared to the “Nametags” feature, Instagram’s latest offering makes it easier for people to scan the QR code in — eliminating the need for taking out the Instagram camera to access information.
The QR code feature makes it easier to exchange profiles with a new acquaintance, perhaps at a job networking event. It also will make it easier for small businesses to add local followers.
An Instagram user can generate a QR code by going to the settings menu on a profile.
Last month, Facebook launched Instagram Shop, an “in-app shopping destination where people can discover products and brands they love from across Instagram.”
The company said, in a press release, that the addition of Facebook Pay to Instagram Shop will “provide a seamless, secure way to shop and make donations across our apps.”
In a press release, Facebook said, “QR codes make starting a chat with a business as easy as possible. Previously when people came across an interesting business, they had to add its WhatsApp number to their contacts, one number at a time. Now, you can just scan the QR code a business displays on its storefront, product packaging or receipt to initiate a chat.”