Technology

Eyeing SMEs, WhatsApp Business gains new functionalities

Facebook is making three big bets to enhance WhatsApp's role as a partner for small and medium businesses: shopping, payments and customer service

Facebook adds new functionalities for WhatsApp Business. Image: WhatsApp Blog
  • WhatsApp is expanding the ways users can check available products and make purchases check-out directly from the chat;
  • It is also launching Facebook Hosting Services to host and manage businesses’ activity and customer service;
  • Facebook also said it will start to charge companies using WhatsApp for Business, without mention further details.

WhatsApp announced on a company blog post this Friday that is increasing investment in three areas in order to boost its strategic role as a partner for small-medium businesses.

First, facebook’s company is expanding the ways users can check available products and make purchases check-out directly from the chat. “We also want to facilitate the integration of these features into the sales and customer service solutions that companies already use. This action will help small businesses that have been most affected at this time,” WhatsApp stated.

Image: WhatsApp Blog

The big tech is also launching Facebook Hosting Services to host and manage businesses’activity and customer service. “We will also provide a new option for companies to manage messages on WhatsApp through hosting services that will be offered by Facebook,” it added.

Last but not least, Facebook said it will start to charge companies using WhatsApp for Business, without mention further details.

READ ALSO: Instagram and Facebook Messenger begin merging chats

“In order for WhatsApp to continue to grow as a company, we will start charging for some of the services we offer to our commercial clients. However, we will continue to offer and expand our free messaging and voice and video call services, which are protected with end-to-end encryption, to over 2 billion people.”

Although not so expressive in Facebook’s global operations, WhatsApp Business has been growing in relevance for small and medium companies, especially in markets such as Brazil and India – at a time when SMBs found particular hurdles to navigate digitization challenges pushed by the pandemic.

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