WhatsApp is rolling out a shopping button that will enable users to check out product catalogues offered by businesses on the platform. The new button, which will replace the voice call button on the chat screen, is part of the company’s plans to make it easier for people to shop for goods and services on the platform.
The company had originally confirmed the feature last month, saying that it would start rolling out globally before the end of the year. The button, however, will only be visible to end-users if a business has uploaded its product catalog on its WhatsApp Business account.
As seen below, the button will appear at the top-right corner of the chat screen in place of the voice call button, which will now be integrated into a cumulative call button that will incorporate both voice-call and video-call options. Do note that the button has been available for some users over the past few weeks, but has only now started rolling now globally.
To check out the new feature, users need to go to any business account on WhatsApp and tap on the ‘Shop’ icon to see the products and services being offered by the business. Not only can they then browse and learn more about each product, they will also be able query about the offerings by tapping on the ‘Message Business’ option at the bottom.
The in-app shopping option is part of the company’s efforts to generate more revenues from its instant messaging service that it bought for a reported $19 billion back in 2014, but is yet to deliver the sort of payback that Instagram has in spite of the latter’s much smaller acquisition cost.