You can turn an Instagram comment into an onlline purchase with Chirpify.

Chirpify is the first service that lets you buy, donate and sell items by simply commenting on an Instagram photo.  In order to use the service, both seller and buyer need to have their Instagram and Paypal accounts connected through the Chirpify service. Chirpify takes a 5 percent fee from all sales.

Chirpify initially launched as a Twitter service back in February of this year and has been gaining traction with successful celebrity sales campaigns from the likes of Amanda Palmer and Green Day.

The Instagram service was added just over two weeks ago with a handful of companies already signed up.  The only one I could see using the service was Bogs Footwear, who were doing a tote bag giveaway by asking followers to  write ‘gimme’ in the comments.  At the time of writing, 10 people had claimed a tote.  

Bogs Footwear is instructing its Instagram followers how they can get this tote for free through Chirpify.

Sounds easy, right?

Well, perhaps a little too easy. The biggest concern at present is how Chirpify plans to ensure that only authorised retailers selling legitimate goods are allowed to participate. In recent days, we’ve seen fake Instagram accounts set up in the name of real airlines – how easy is it to get sucked into dropping money on a fraudulent airline ticket, for example? What happens if your account is hacked? How can we be sure that a transaction will be honored? (For now, it appears that Chirpify passes all refund and security responsibility on to Paypal.)

Fake Instagram accounts promise free flights from American Airlines ...
as well as Delta and JetBlue.

Now that money is involved, both Chirpify and Instagram may need to tighten their controls to mitigate the risks of spamming, fraud and hacking. For now, we should be careful what and from whom we purchase. 

What do you think?