Facebook-owned photo and video-sharing app Instagram has introduced universal QR codes. Users can now generate QR codes that can be scanned from any supporting third-party camera apps. The feature, which was first launched in Japan last year, is designed for the convenience of users as well as business owners as they can print QR code and have customers scan it to visit their Instagram account. Customers after scanning QR codes can get information like working hours and items on sale, or follow the account.
Instagram had previously deployed a similar feature, Nametags, which acted as internal QR-like codes that could only be scanned from the app's camera function.
How to generate QR code:
In order to generate QR code, go to the settings menu and select QR code. Their username or name tag will appear first but once saved it acts as a QR code. One might still see Nametag there, but after the update, it'll eventually become QR code. One can also save or share the QR code image.
The Instagram app also offers different themes for the background and an option to select colours, emoticons, and even take selfies while generating QR codes. Users can also scan a QR code by clicking on "Scan" option at the bottom of the screen.
However, Instagram's new update is only meant for smartphone users. The code for sharing Instagram profiles is relatively same as its Nametag feature with the difference being that previously the app generated proprietary code could only be scanned by Instagram's built-in camera, reports 9to5Mac.
Instagram, in a statement, said, "As many stores remain closed and social media serves as an online Main Street, the shift to doing business online is more urgent than ever. We're announcing new ways for people to support and discover small businesses, along with more tools for keeping businesses informed and connected with their customers."
Multiple other social media apps - Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and Spotify - also use their proprietary QR-like feature, with only Twitter supporting actual QR codes. But with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not surprising to see Instagram embrace QR codes. Even restaurants have started using QR codes instead of physical menus, that people scan to order.
(Edited by Vivek Dubey)