Photographers with a strong presence on Instagram might soon be able to monetize their accounts in a more tangible way than has been possible so far. In an interview with Bloomberg, James Quarles, Instagram's head of business, has confirmed that Instagram will soon add a function to book a business or service directly from the mobile app. The feature is expected to be launched within the next couple of months. 

In practice, business accounts will be able to add a booking option, allowing potential customers to schedule appointments through the app, without the need to use other means of communication. The Bloomberg article gives the example of booking an appointment in a hair salon but the new feature could be especially interesting for commercial photographers, many of whom maintain a strong presence on the image sharing platform.  

The move will put Instagram into direct competition with services such as Yelp or OpenTable. Quarles also said that currently about 8 million businesses use profiles on Instagram and 80% of users follow a business. The company may eventually add more tools, such as reviews. If you are a photographer offering commercial services, now seems like a good time to brush up your profile.