Instagram & Pinterest Buy Button: Empowering Retailers With 'Action-Oriented' Formats

By Tinuiti Team

Instagram Buy Button:

Instagram has become one of the largest social media platforms, gathering more than 300 million users in less than 5 years. Thanks to Instagram’s recent announcement to begin testing on new enhanced apps and buy buttons, advertisers can finally leverage these users and capitalize on a profitable marketing opportunity.

Instagram welcomed advertisers to the platform in 2013, but their recent targeting capabilities now make it easier than ever for users to “shop now”, “install now” or “sign up” while browsing their favorite interests, hobbies and pictures.

It appears that these ads may be powered by Facebook’s Ad Manager, which would also open up Instagram advertisers to Facebook’s robust demographic data.


While the intent on Instagram wasn’t initially to shop, like many other platforms such as Facebook, the social media application has become another channel for retailers to pitch their products to interested buyers.

According to Instagram’s announcement, “We have worked across brands, agencies and our community to design an advertising experience that feels native to the platform. And we’ve made our ad formats more impactful, from photo and video ads to carousel ads that allow brands to tell a deeper story and provide a link for people to learn more.”

The latest advertising venture by Instagram will focus on 3 main areas including:

  1. Expanding ad offerings to include action-oriented formats
  2. Enable more targeting capabilities
  3. Make it easier for businesses large and small to buy ad space on Instagram



Instagram’s latest testing is a win-win for both advertisers and Instagram users who will now be able to take action directly from an ad to:


In a follow-up statement, Instagram said, “Later this year, we will continue to connect businesses to the right people through expanded targeting options. Working with Facebook, we will enable advertisers to reach people on Instagram based on demographics and interests, as well as information businesses have about their own customers. We will also improve the feedback mechanisms within Instagram to give people greater control and improve the relevance of the ads they see.”

Thanks to Instagram’s buy out by Facebook for 1 billion dollars in 2012, the platform, which previously only had access to target ads based on age, gender and country will now be able to leverage more specific demographics including interest data based on email addresses provided by the business.

Visually, the ads look comfortable within the application and streamline nicely along with images of friends, travel, food and hobbies. If the ads do become too frequent, users will have the option to provide Instagram with insightful feedback, which will be monitored closely in the upcoming months to ensure the program is a success for both advertisers and users.

Pinterest Buy Button:

Following the trend, Pinterest also announced its plans to introduce “Buyable Pins” to users in the upcoming weeks.


What users can be on the look out for:

Buy Means BlueAccording to Pinterest, when a user spots a pin with a blue price, that is a signal they can buy it directly from the app. If they are searching for something specific (including color) they can also price filter to hone in on the right pin.

When users are ready to make a purchase, they simply click “Buy it” and pay with Apple Pay or a credit card. Once a user has entered their personal info, Pinterest will store it so they don’t have to punch it in again.

U.S shoppers will be able to see Buyable Pins in the next few weeks on their iPhone or iPad. Android or those using desktop will have to wait a little longer before they can access the new updates.

For retailers, Pinterest stated, “We’re supporting direct integration with two commerce platforms. If you’re interested in getting Buyable Pins, you can sign up for Shopify or contact Demandware. For updates on future integration opportunities, sign up for our waitlist.”


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