Facebook Inc announced on October 22, 2020 that WhatsApp will soon offer in-app purchases and message hosting services. The app is set to add a shopping button and direct purchase option to business accounts. This will enable businesses to sell products on WhatsApp through Facebook Shops, which launched in May.
These features will let businesses directly sell products, keep accounts up to date and receive and respond to messages from customers. Customers will be able to check out and buy products from the chat itself.
Not just this! WhatsApp will also be entering the cloud computing sector. This will help the companies store messages of customer service messaging tools on Facebook servers.
Considering that the normal text messages are protected by end-to-end encryption, the messages sent or received via new hosting services will be stored somewhere else and not be protected by end-to-end encryption security. Facebook also clarified that it would not use any message data from the server for any other business purposes.
Owing to the pandemic, WhatsApp Business has become more popular and may just sustain in the market. These features will be integrated into existing commerce and customer solutions. In a blog post, WhatsApp said these features will help small businesses that have been most impacted by the lockdown.
Facebook Hosting Services are aimed at hosting and managing customer communications, particularly benefiting those working remotely. Facebook also plans to offer new options through these hosting services to manage their WhatsApp messages. The customers will be charged 0.5 cents to 9 cents by WhatsApp for every message delivered on the hosting service.
While the shopping tool will be rolled out across the globe this year, the message hosting service won’t be released until 2021.