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.
WhatsApp provides a special forwarded label to messages shared in chats that have been forwarded many times. These two arrows help people know when they’ve received a message that was not written by a close contact. Earlier this year, we set limits on how many times they can be sent at once to maintain the private nature of WhatsApp.
Today, we’re piloting a simple way to double check these messages by tapping a magnifying glass button in the chat. Providing a simple way to search messages that have been forwarded many times may help people find news results or other sources of information about content they have received.
This feature works by allowing users to upload the message via their browser without WhatsApp ever seeing the message itself.
Search the web is being rolled out starting today in Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, UK, and US for those on the latest versions of WhatsApp for Android, iOS and WhatsApp Web.
As businesses across the world prepare to re-open and expand online, people need simple ways to get in touch with businesses to ask questions, get information or find something they might like to buy.
Today we support more than 50 million WhatsApp Business app users. To help them and the thousands of larger businesses on the WhatsApp Business API get discovered, we’re introducing new features to start a chat with a business on WhatsApp and see what goods and services they offer.
Starting a chat with a business using QR codes
QR codes are a digital front door that make opening a chat with a business as easy as possible. Previously when people came across an interesting business, they had to add its WhatsApp number to their contacts, one number at a time. Now, people simply can scan the QR code a business displays on its storefront, product packaging or receipt to initiate a chat.
For example, Ki Mindful Wearing, an activewear brand in Brazil that helped us test the feature, is placing QR codes on packages and product tags to invite customers to reach out for support on WhatsApp.
Scanning a QR code will open a chat with an optional pre-populated message created by the business to start the conversation. With the app’s messaging tools, businesses can quickly send back information such as their catalog to get the conversation going. To start using a QR code, businesses can follow these quick steps.
QR codes are available for businesses around the world using the WhatsApp Business app or WhatsApp Business API starting today.
Catalog sharing to discover what a business offers
Catalogs allow businesses to showcase and share the goods or services they offer, which can help them close sales. Since launching last year, catalogs have become a popular way for people to engage with a business on WhatsApp. In fact, more than 40 million people view a business catalog on WhatsApp each month.
To make it easier for people to discover products, we’re making catalogs and individual items available to be shared as links on websites, Facebook, Instagram and elsewhere. And if people want to share a catalog or item they find with friends or family, they can simply copy the link and send it on WhatsApp or other places as well.
Catalog links are available globally and businesses can learn how to share them here.
While the road ahead for businesses will be a long and challenging one as they adjust to a new reality, we look forward to supporting them.