Instagram is now testing a new Fundraiser feature that allows users to make donations to nonprofits through its Stories feature, but questions are arising over its true intentions.
According to TechCrunch, code and images found inside the Instagram app point to support for a Fundraise feature that will see users searching for nonprofits and adding them to their Story; other users will then be able to make a donation through that person’s story.
Instagram confirmed in a statement that a donation sticker is currently being tested and could debut later this year, adding: “Instagram is all about bringing you closer to the people and things you love, and a big part of that is showing support for and bringing awareness to meaningful communities and causes.”
The feature has been likened to the Donate function in Facebook, which is being credited with raising $1 billion for various nonprofits.
Keeping users’ credit card info on file will facilitate shopping
However, it’s not all about looking outward for Instagram; TechCrunch points out that these donation features require people to add their credit card details to their accounts. This means that Instagram owners Facebook will be able to gain access to countless credit card numbers that could then be used in other commerce features.
It’s no secret that Facebook is looking to expand the commerce features on Instagram, so getting people’s credit card numbers on file is a clever way to make it easier for users to part with their money once such features are put in place. Once a person has made a donation, Instagram would then be able to offer them an instant checkout when purchasing products in future using those same payment details. Facebook’s Donate function, after all, operates this way, with users having to go well out their way to remove their credit card from their Facebook account after making a donation.
This development is being met with a fair amount of skepticism as Facebook is currently facing a lot of questions about its business ethics and privacy issues.
Instagram counts more than a billion users in its ranks, and half of them are regular users of Stories. Instagram has been expanding the feature, which allows users to create and share photo and video collections, to add new functions in the wake of its popularity.