January was a heck of a month for WhatsApp. The Facebook-owned messaging service came under public scrutiny for not letting users opt out of its intrusive policy changes. In an attempt to soften the blow, it even took out front-page newspaper ads to clarify what data it didn't have access to. A crowd of not-so-convinced users still flocked to alternative services like Signal and Telegram. WhatsApp isn't done trying, though, and it's working on a new terms-of-service prompt that hammers down the same message it's been broadcasting for a while now.
Since it rolled out its new terms of service, WhatsApp has been caught in a whirlwind — the changes precipitated an exodus to alternate apps. Seemingly losing ground in major markets around the world, the Facebook-owned messaging service has now pushed the deadline to accept the new terms and is actively seeking to control the damage that has been caused by them.
For the most part, WhatsApp has stuck to its primary goal of being a messaging service for billions of users around the world. But it's going to be more than just that for 400 million+ users in India. Speaking at Facebook's Fuel for India 2020 event, Abhijit Bose, head of WhatsApp India, revealed that users would soon be able to purchase pension and insurance products on WhatsApp.
Many shops and companies around the world increasingly use WhatsApp to conduct their business, especially with a pandemic raging on and people urged to stay home. To make it easier to conduct sales over the messenger, WhatsApp has announced that it's launching shopping carts. They're complementing the existing catalogs businesses can create to showcase their offers, essentially allowing them to run almost full-fledged online shops through the messenger.
For years, WhatsApp has been working towards launching its own payment service. While we always thought India would be the first country to see a full-blown rollout of the feature, it looks like Facebook struck a deal with Brazilian partners before. The company has announced that its bringing digital payments to WhatsApp in the Latin American country, powered by Facebook Pay.
WhatsApp is one of the most popular messenger platforms in the world, and when they launched WhatsApp Business back in 2018, it provided businesses a great way to connect with customers. And now things are getting a bit simpler for businesses on the service, as they'll be able to link their company's Facebook page to WhatsApp Business in order to sync info from it and run Facebook ads that click to WhatsApp.
After a month of testing in beta, WhatsApp's dark mode went live this week for everyone. That left professional users a little behind, as WhatsApp Business was still on the white-only interface. The app's latest update puts it back on par by bringing this promised dark theme.
Last January, Facebook launchedWhatsApp Business, targeting small businesses looking to communicate with customers over WhatsApp. The app lets owners set up profiles with email addresses, working hours, and location details, along with a certain degree of automation: quick replies, Gmail-style labeling of conversations, and filters. This functionality had been specific to the Android app so far, but that changes today — WhatsApp Business users can now enjoy these features on the desktop and web app too.
WhatsApp Business was officially announced in September of 2017 but back then you had to sign up for a beta, register your interest, and hope to be picked to give it a try. Now the app is made official and it's launching for Android in 5 countries to begin with, with a roll out "around the world" in the coming weeks. The lucky five are: Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the UK, and the US. Yes, the US, where everyone says they don't use WhatsApp. I also find it odd that the launch post mentions how businesses in India and Brazil rely on WhatsApp a lot for their communications, but then these two countries aren't among the list to get it first.
Last year, WhatsApp released a business-focused version of its massively-popular messaging app, aptly-called 'WhatsApp Business.' It has a few unique features, like landline phone number support, messaging statistics, and other minor changes. Now the app has been updated to support quick replies.