Facebook launched WhatsApp Business back in 2018 to help small businesses interact with customers and sell their products. In the current pandemic, the need for a central hub to communicate with online retailers has become more important than ever. The company says that over 175 million people message a WhatsApp business account daily.
To further improve upon this experience, WhatsApp has detailed a host of new changes that it will be making to its service.
First and foremost, it will be making it easier for businesses to sell products directly from the chat, and allow them to integrate these features with their existing solutions for customer and business management.
It will also be expanding its roster of business solution providers for companies that want to work with other firms for hosting and managing their communications. To that end, it plans to roll out Facebook's own hosting services soon too, which businesses will be able to utilize to manage inventories and respond to messages to customers.
Furthermore, WhatsApp will also be charging business accounts a fee for the services that are offered to them. The company says:
We will charge business customers for some of the services we offer, which will help WhatsApp continue building a business of our own while we provide and expand free end-to-end encrypted text, video and voice calling for more than two billion people.
Lastly, new privacy features will also be introduced to protect customer conversations, although the company hasn't gone into the details of what this entails. All of these changes will be gradually rolled out to customers over the next few months, and we'll likely learn more about them closer to their respective launches.