June 2, 2021
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.