WhatsApp gets e-commerce ‘catalogue’ feature
Written by Peter Walker
Facebook has launched a catalogue feature for WhatsApp, as it looks to establish the messaging app’s e-commerce tools.
In March, the social media giant added a shopping feature to its Instagram platform that allowed users to click a checkout option on items tagged for sale, enabling them to pay for it within the app.
The WhatsApp tool is not as sophisticated yet, but does allow small businesses to display a mobile storefront, showcasing products with images and prices; although customers will still need to pay for items outside of the app.
Speaking at Facebook’s F8 conference in May, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said instant payments were in the works for WhatsApp. “Payments is one of the areas where we have an opportunity to make it a lot easier – I believe it should be as easy to send money to someone as it is to send a photo,” he stated.
Reuters reported WhatsApp product manager Amrit Pal as calling commerce the new chapter for the app that Facebook paid $19 billion for in 2014. “We hear from businesses every day that WhatsApp is where they meet their customers, rather than sending them to a website.”
WhatsApp’s catalogue feature has initially been made available for users in the UK, US, Brazil, Germany, India, Indonesia and Mexico, and will be rolled out around the world in the next few weeks.