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Instagram today launched a new feature that will allow users to generate QR codes, which can be easily scanned from any app that supports scanning, including the phone camera. This feature was piloted in Japan last year and is now being launched worldwide. 

Generating the QR code is very simple. Just go to ‘settings’ and click on ‘QR code’. Previously, Instagram had ‘Nametags’ which were also somewhat similar to QR codes, but they could be used only through the internal Instagram camera.

Thus, this an expansion of an existing feature, which will allow users to break out of the ‘Instagram bubble’ and share details without being confined to the Instagram camera to do so.

This feature will be especially helpful for retailers, who will now be able to give customers their Instagram handles without any physical contact. Retailer who rely on Instagram to sell their products will now be able to generate more traffic on their pages, which is essential, since it allows customers to shop directly from Instagram or visit their website.

QR codes are gaining more and more traction due to the demand for a ‘contactless experience.’ The world is moving towards a QR code based approach for business, and Instagram is just trying to catch up, especially since it plans on becoming a marketplace in itself, especially with the addition of a seperate ‘Shop’ section in the discover feed. 

It must be noted that out of Instagram’s competition, only Twitter employs actual QR codes, with others sticking to their own form of identity tag. However, Instagram is a much more viable place for selling goods than Twitter, which means that it might just be the first app of its kind to bring this feature.