We’re honored by the opportunity to support the U.S. government’s sprint to get more Americans vaccinated for COVID-19 before the July 4 holiday, or as soon as they are able to do so.
People of all backgrounds rely on WhatsApp, though we know WhatsApp plays a particularly strong role with Spanish speaking communities in the United States. This new Spanish-language vaccine finder the CDC developed makes it easy to find a location to get the shot, order a free ride to get there, and get information.
It’s amazing what can be done with just a simple text messaging service. Throughout the last year we’ve worked with over 150 governments and health organizations, like WHO and now the CDC, to help counter misinformation, provide updates, and get people vaccinated to end this pandemic. Please help us spread the word to someone you know by tapping https://wa.me/18336361122?text=hola.
Es un honor para nosotros tener la oportunidad de apoyar al gobierno de Estados Unidos en su carrera por lograr que una mayor parte de la ciudadanía se vacune contra el COVID-19 antes de la celebración del 4 de julio, o tan pronto como les sea posible.
Si bien personas de todos los orígenes confían en WhatsApp, sabemos que esta aplicación juega un papel particularmente importante en la comunidad hispanohablante de Estados Unidos. Con el nuevo localizador de vacunas que desarrollaron los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC, por sus siglas en inglés) y que está disponible en español, será más fácil buscar un lugar donde vacunarse, solicitar un traslado gratuito al centro de vacunación y recibir información.
Es increíble lo que se puede lograr con un simple servicio de mensajería de texto. Durante el último año, trabajamos con más de 150 gobiernos y organizaciones de salud, como la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) y ahora los CDC, para ayudar a contrarrestar la desinformación, ofrecer actualizaciones y lograr que las personas se vacunen para terminar con esta pandemia. Por favor, visita el siguiente enlace y ayúdanos a difundir el mensaje entre tus contactos: https://wa.me/18336361122?text=hola.
With more people turning to chat with businesses on WhatsApp, today at F8 Refresh we’re announcing updates to the WhatsApp Business API that will make it quicker for businesses to get started and for people to easily chat with these businesses.
We’ve cut down the time it takes for businesses to get up and running from weeks to just five minutes. Whether a business wants to work with a business solution provider or get support directly from Facebook in the future, these improvements will make it easier for more medium and larger businesses to have customer conversations on WhatsApp.
As more businesses come onto WhatsApp, we’re improving how businesses can communicate with their customers. For example, businesses were often limited to sending timely notifications, which made it difficult to follow up with customers outside of a 24-hour window. So now we’ll support more types of messages -- to let people know when an item is back in stock, for example. We’ve also seen how periodic updates from health authorities about responding to the pandemic have been helpful and we want to make this kind of service available for more types of conversations.
We’re also rolling out new messaging features that can help people get business done faster. New list messages present a menu of up to 10 options so people no longer need to type out a response. Reply buttons will allow people to quickly make a selection from up to three options with just a quick tap that a business can set ahead of time through their WhatsApp Business API account.
As always, people remain in control of their chats. People still need to reach out to start a conversation or request a business contact them via WhatsApp. With these updates, we’re also providing new ways for people to give greater feedback about the experience they are having if they have a reason to block a business.
We want WhatsApp to be the most convenient and personal way for people and businesses to connect, and we’re excited about these new experiences we’re creating to improve business messaging.
WhatsApp is proud to announce a new sticker pack with the World Health Organization (WHO) called “Vaccines for All.” We hope these stickers offer people a fun and creative way to connect and privately express the joy, relief, and hope they feel about the possibilities the COVID-19 vaccines offer, and to show their appreciation for the healthcare heroes who have continued their life-saving work during this long and difficult time.
Since the start of the pandemic, we have partnered with more than 150 national, state, and local governments, and with organizations like WHO and UNICEF, on COVID-19 helplines to connect our over 2 billion users to accurate information and resources. Over 3 billion messages have been sent across these global helplines in the past year.
As the pandemic enters a new phase in many countries, governments are using these helplines to connect citizens privately to accurate vaccine information and registration, in countries such as Indonesia, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, and India. In Indonesia, 500,000 medical workers registered for their vaccine appointments on this service in its first 5 days.
We want to help governments and international organizations connect as many people around the world to vaccine information and services as possible, especially those in hard-to-reach places or in marginalized groups. We've also waived the fees that come from sending messages through our WhatsApp Business API.
As we move slowly, in some countries, towards being together in person, we hope people will continue to share their private thoughts and experiences - and hope - with their family and close friends on WhatsApp.
The “Vaccines for All” sticker pack is available now within WhatsApp.
We're excited to announce that private and secure one-to-one voice and video calls are now available on WhatsApp’s desktop app.
Throughout the last year we've seen significant increases in people calling one another on WhatsApp, often for long conversations. Last New Year’s Eve, we broke the record for the most calls ever made in a single day with 1.4 billion voice and video calls. With so many people still apart from their loved ones, and adjusting to new ways of working, we want conversations on WhatsApp to feel as close to in-person as possible, regardless of where you are in the world or the tech you’re using.
Answering on a bigger screen makes it easier to work with colleagues, see your family more clearly on a bigger canvas, or free up your hands to move around a room while talking. To make desktop calling more useful, we made sure it works seamlessly for both portrait and landscape orientation, appears in a resizable standalone window on your computer screen, and is set to be always on top so you never lose your video chats in a browser tab or stack of open windows.
Voice and video calls on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted, so WhatsApp can’t hear or see them, whether you call from your phone or your computer. We’re starting with one-to-one calls on the WhatsApp desktop app so we make sure we can give you a reliable and high-quality experience. We will be expanding this feature to include group voice and video calls in the future.
We hope people enjoy private and secure desktop calling with their friends and families. You can read more, including how to download the desktop app on Windows PC and Mac here.
As a reminder, we’re building new ways to chat or shop with a business on WhatsApp that are entirely optional. Personal messages will always be end-to-end encrypted, so WhatsApp can’t read or listen to them.
We’ve reflected on what we could have done better here. We want everyone to know our history of defending end-to-end encryption and trust we’re committed to protecting people’s privacy and security. We’re now using our Status feature to share our values and updates directly within WhatsApp. We’ll be doing much more to make our voice clear going forward.
In the coming weeks, we’ll display a banner in WhatsApp providing more information that people can read at their own pace. We’ve also included more information to try and address concerns we’re hearing. Eventually, we’ll start reminding people to review and accept these updates to keep using WhatsApp.
We also think it’s important people know how we can provide WhatsApp for free. Every day millions of people start a WhatsApp chat with a business because it’s easier to do so than placing a phone call or exchanging emails. We charge businesses to provide customer service on WhatsApp - not people. Some shopping features involve Facebook so that businesses can manage their inventory across apps. We display more information directly in WhatsApp so people can choose if they want to engage with businesses, or not.
During this time, we understand some people may check out other apps to see what they have to offer. We’ve seen some of our competitors try to get away with claiming they can’t see people’s messages - if an app doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption by default that means they can read your messages. Other apps say they’re better because they know even less information than WhatsApp. We believe people are looking for apps to be both reliable and safe, even if that requires WhatsApp having some limited data. We strive to be thoughtful on the decisions we make and we’ll continue to develop new ways of meeting these responsibilities with less information, not more.
We deeply appreciate everyone who has helped us address concerns and remain available to answer any questions. We haven’t stopped building for 2021 and can’t wait to share more in the weeks and months ahead.
We’ve heard from so many people how much confusion there is around our recent update. There's been a lot of misinformation causing concern and we want to help everyone understand our principles and the facts.
WhatsApp was built on a simple idea: what you share with your friends and family stays between you. This means we will always protect your personal conversations with end-to-end encryption, so that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can see these private messages. It’s why we don’t keep logs of who everyone’s messaging or calling. We also can’t see your shared location and we don’t share your contacts with Facebook.
With these updates, none of that is changing. Instead, the update includes new options people will have to message a business on WhatsApp, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data. While not everyone shops with a business on WhatsApp today, we think that more people will choose to do so in the future and it’s important people are aware of these services. This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook.
We’re now moving back the date on which people will be asked to review and accept the terms. No one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8. We're also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp. We’ll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15.
WhatsApp helped bring end-to-end encryption to people across the world and we are committed to defending this security technology now and in the future. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us and to so many who have helped spread facts and stop rumors. We will continue to put everything we have into making WhatsApp the best way to communicate privately.
WhatsApp is fast becoming a store counter to discuss products and coordinate sales. Catalogs have allowed people to quickly see what’s available and helped businesses organize their chats around particular items. With more and more shopping happening through chats, we want to make buying and selling even easier.
Starting today, we’re excited to bring carts to WhatsApp. Carts are great when messaging businesses that typically sell multiple items at once, like a local restaurant or clothing store. With carts, people can browse a catalog, select multiple products and send the order as one message to the business. This will make it simpler for businesses to keep track of order inquiries, manage requests from customers and close sales.
For example, Agradaya, a sustainable herbs and spices business in Yogyakarta, Indonesia got early access to the feature and told us how carts are a convenient way to understand what the customer is ordering without all the back and forth communication.
Using carts is easy. Simply find the items you want and tap “add to cart”. Once your cart is complete, send it as a message to the business. More details on using carts can be found here.
Carts are going live around the world today -- just in time for the holiday season. Happy shopping on WhatsApp!
Starting today, people across India will be able to send money through WhatsApp. This secure payments experience makes transferring money just as easy as sending a message. People can safely send money to a family member or share the cost of goods from a distance without having to exchange cash in person or going to a local bank.
WhatsApp designed our payments feature in partnership with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) using the Unified Payment Interface (UPI), an India-first, real-time payment system that enables transactions with over 160 supported banks. We’re excited to join India’s campaign to increase the ease and use of digital payments, which is helping expand financial inclusion in India.
To send money on WhatsApp in India, it’s necessary to have a bank account and debit card in India. WhatsApp sends instructions to banks, also known as payment service providers, that initiate the transfer of money via UPI between sender and receiver bank accounts. We’re delighted to be working with five leading banks in India: ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, the State Bank of India, and Jio Payments Bank. People can send money on WhatsApp to anyone using a UPI supported app.
In the long run, we believe the combination of WhatsApp and UPI’s unique architecture can help local organizations address some of the key challenges of our time, including increasing rural participation in the digital economy and delivering financial services to those who have never had access before.
Just like every feature in WhatsApp, payments is designed with a strong set of security and privacy principles, including entering a personal UPI PIN for each payment. Payments on WhatsApp is now available for people on the latest version of the iPhone and Android app.
Today, WhatsApp messages often live on our phones forever. While it’s great to hold onto memories from friends and family, most of what we send doesn’t need to be everlasting.
Our goal is make conversations on WhatsApp feel as close to in-person as possible, which means they shouldn't have to stick around forever. That’s why we’re excited to introduce the option to use disappearing messages on WhatsApp.
When disappearing messages is turned on, new messages sent to a chat will disappear after 7 days, helping the conversation feel lighter and more private. In a one-to-one chat, either person can turn disappearing messages on or off. In groups, admins will have the control.
We’re starting with 7 days because we think it offers peace of mind that conversations aren’t permanent, while remaining practical so you don’t forget what you were chatting about. The shopping list or store address you received a few days ago will be there while you need it, and then disappear after you don’t. You can read more, including how to enable disappearing messages here.
We hope people enjoy disappearing messages, which will be rolling out to users everywhere this month.
Over the last few years, we’ve seen a real shift towards messaging apps for personal communication and increasingly people are relying on WhatsApp to get business done as well.
Many of the old ways in which people and businesses communicate are not working. While businesses spend billions of dollars annually managing phone calls, e-mails, and SMS, people do not want to wait on hold, get passed from person to person, or wonder if their messages were received.
The global pandemic has made clear that businesses need fast and efficient ways to service their customers and make sales. WhatsApp has become a simple and convenient resource in this time. More than 175 million people every day message a WhatsApp Business account. Our research shows people prefer to message a business to get help and they’re more likely to make a purchase when they can do so.
Though there is much more we need to build. For the last two years, we’ve provided the WhatsApp Business app and WhatsApp Business API to help businesses of all sizes manage their chats. We’ve listened to feedback on what’s worked and believe WhatsApp can help make messaging the best way for consumers and businesses to connect. To that end we are increasing our investment in the following areas:
We know that most people will continue to use WhatsApp simply to communicate with friends and family, which is why we will keep developing great new features and protect people’s private conversations.
We believe these additional experiences on WhatsApp meet a real need for many people and businesses whether they are around the corner or across the world. We’re excited about what lies ahead and we'll gradually roll out these services in the months to come.