WhatsApp has announced a number of changes that it is rolling out to its messaging app, including the ability to make purchases from directly within the application.
“Over the last few years, we’ve seen a real shift towards messaging apps for personal communication and increasingly people are relying on WhatsApp to get business done as well,” WhatsApp said in a blog post.
“The global pandemic has made clear that businesses need fast and efficient ways to service their customers and make sales.”
WhatsApp said it has listened to feedback on its WhatsApp Business app and WhatsApp Business API and has launched new features to improve the experience for companies and consumers.
These include improving the way people interact with products and offerings from within the WhatsApp application, allowing users to buy products from within the chat interface.
“We will expand ways for people to check out available products and make purchases right from a chat,” WhatsApp said.
“We also want to make it easier for businesses to integrate these features into their existing commerce and customer solutions.”
Facebook hosting and business sales
WhatsApp has also expanded its partnerships with business solutions providers to deliver hosting services to WhatsApp Business customers via Facebook.
“We will also provide a new option for businesses to manage their WhatsApp messages via hosting services that Facebook plans to offer,” WhatsApp said.
“Providing this option will make it easier for small and medium-size businesses to get started, sell products, keep their inventory up to date, and quickly respond to messages they receive – wherever their employees are.”
WhatsApp added that it will charge business customers for some of the services it offers, which it said will help it to develop new features going forward and expand its offering to more people.
“We know that most people will continue to use WhatsApp simply to communicate with friends and family, which is why we will keep developing great new features and protect people’s private conversations,” the company said.
WhatsApp said it will gradually roll out these new features over the months to come.