Instagram launches new feature that you and your local businesses will love

(Image credit: Facebook)

Social media platform Instagram has announced it will roll out a new QR code system worldwide, allowing users to access account profiles and uncover information more easily.

Originally trialled in Japan, the feature allocates a unique QR code to each Instagram account, which can be scanned using any camera app (not just the Instagram camera feature) to bring up the associated profile.

Scanning a QR code attached to a business account, meanwhile, will also allow users to check opening hours, purchase goods and services, and seek out any further information made available by the company.

Instagram QR codes

There are currently 180 million monthly active business accounts across the Facebook family of apps (which includes Instagram), many of which are operated by small businesses likely struggling to cope with the effects of the ongoing pandemic

According to Facebook, the new feature is designed to streamline account discovery and help businesses “expand their digital presence to adapt to the needs of their customers during this time”.

For example, a business might display its Instagram QR code on its shop window, at the top of a menu or on product packaging, which would allow customers to seek out the company’s account without having to search manually.

"We know the road ahead for small businesses such as restaurants and shops may be challenging, so we want to continue building tools to help them get discovered and connect with people in new ways,” a Facebook spokesperson told TechRadar Pro.

“QR codes will allow people to easily follow any account and share their own account with others. We hope this offers a new way for people to connect with friends, family and other accounts they love.”

Each user can access their unique QR code via the profile menu, although some may have to wait a short period for the feature to kick in.

With the arrival of QR codes, Instagram will also retire the Nametags feature entirely, which offered similar but more limited functionality.

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.