Facebook Inc (FBO) launched a shopping catalog feature in Whatsapp, in order to monetize the app Facebook bought back in 2014 for $19 billion. They are now focussing on the e-commerce tools of the instant messaging app.
Communication and networking apps like Whatsapp and Instagram have 1.5 billion users and Facebook has been trying to generate revenue from them. News Feed can extract ad dollars but are striving hard to generate new users.
The same feature was introduced on Instagram previously where the user was able to pay for the advertised product within the app. Facebook is struggling to introduce such a feature in Whatsapp. The Whatsapp catalog feature does not allow the transactions in the app. It has to be switched to the website.
However, small businesses which are the majority users of the free Whatsapp Business app can set up a “Mobile Storefront” displaying their products with good images and their prices.
According to the product manager Amrit Pal, Whatsapp is aiming to start a “new chapter” in the commerce world. He added that businesses have often reported that Whatsapp is where they “meet their customers”.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO has also stressed the communication between consumers and the manufacturers. In this regard, a new service with a minimal amount ranging from 0.5 cents to 9 cents will be charged per message according to the country.
Almost 5 million businesses use Whatsapp to communicate with their consumers. Right now it is available in many countries which include India, Mexico, the United States, Germany, Indonesia, Brazil. It is soon to be incorporated in other countries soon.