WhatsApp makes a move towards e-commerce, rolls out a shopping button

Hacking software used Facebook’s WhatsApp to take over users’ phones, say sources. PHOTO: REUTERS. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MENLO PARK, Nov 10, 2020, BS. WhatsApp has launched a new shopping button on its app that will allow users to browse through a business’ catalogue, the Facebook-owned messaging service said in a press release, Business Standard reported.

With the new feature, people will be able to see a storefront icon, right next to the business’ name. This will make it easier for users to discover a catalogue and look at what goods or services are offered, WhatsApp said in the emailed release. Earlier, users had to click on the business profile to see if it offered a ready list of items. The button will also help businesses boost the visibility of their products. “This will make it easier for businesses to have their products discovered which can help increase sales,” the email said.

The shopping button will replace the voice call button. Now, users will have to tap on the call button to select either a voice or video call. The new feature has been launched worldwide, the messaging service added.

According to WhatsApp, more than 175 million people message a WhatsApp Business account every day, and more than 40 million people view a business’ catalogue each month – including more than 3 million in India.

Last week, the National Payment Corporation of India, which manages Unified Payment Interface, decided to allow WhatsApp to go live on UPI. The service also has to work in the multi-bank model, NCPI had said in a statement. In the beginning, it can only roll out its payments service to 20 million users, NCPI said. Payments was made available in 10 Indian regional language versions of WhatsApp. The instant messaging platform began testing payments feature in 2018 but the launch was delayed because of data privacy concerns.

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