Instagram is now allowing users to share anyone's posts or Reels through a QR code. What's more, users also can share a QR code location through its searchable Map experience. While people usually think about sharing posts through direct messages or a URL, QR codes can be effective in marketing campaigns — for example, the Coinbase Super Bowl ad — and highlighting businesses.
Multiple users, including TechCrunch staff, have noticed this option for sharing. Users can head to any Reel, post or location and hit the three-dot menu to see the option for QR code sharing. Alternatively, on the web, users can add "/qr" to a post's URL to generate a QR code. Notably, Instagram has had the feature of sharing profiles through QR codes for a few years now. But this is the first time the company is releasing such an option for individual posts.
“To make it easier for people and businesses to share specific content, we recently launched the ability to create QR codes for profiles, tags, locations, reels and more,” a Meta spokesperson told TechCrunch.
An example of a post shared through QR code. Image Credits: TechCrunch
App sleuth Alessandro Paluzzi had previously shared that Instagram was working on the QR code-sharing feature. Now it seems to be available to the general userbase.
It's not clear if the QR code-sharing feature is rolling out to all users across the globe. We have reached out to Meta for a comment, and we'll update the story if we hear back.
Image Credits: Instagram
This feature could be handy for many use cases: actors can post it to different places to promote their next movie or show; musicians can post a QR code to lead people to a Reel that might be teasing their next song or album; and restaurants can print these out so people can look at the place and photos before visiting it.
Some startups like Batch have tried to use QR codes to make shopping quicker. So it wouldn't be surprising if Instagram leverages QR codes to push its shopping-related efforts. Shoppers can display demo products or stage them virtually to eventually drive customers to individual product posts on Instagram via QR codes.
Example of a location shared via QR code. Image Credits: Instagram
In July, a Google executive mentioned that young people in the U.S. are increasingly using platforms like TikTok and Instagram to discover new places to visit, and the Meta-owned platform rolling out sharable QR codes can aid that search for the next great restaurant or live music venue.