Meta Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday said India is leading the world on how people and businesses have embraced messaging as a better way to get things done, as the social media giant unveiled a slew of new tools aimed at supercharging businesses using WhatsApp.
Announcing the line-up of key offerings for WhatsApp, Zuckerberg said the company has continued to innovate with its messaging formats, group chats and broadcast channels.
"India, (is) a country that's at the forefront of a lot of what we're going to talk about today. You're (India is) leading the world in terms of how people and businesses have embraced messaging as the better way to get things done.” Zuckerberg said during a virtual address at Conversations event in Mumbai.
The announcements included Meta verified badge for businesses and the expansion of a payment service that will facilitate the completion of purchases directly in the chat.
Zuckerberg also spoke about WhatsApp Flows, which will give businesses the ability to create customised experiences within chat threads.
WhatsApp Flows is a new feature for businesses to create richer in-chat experiences for their customers like booking a reservation, ordering delivery or checking in for a flight, directly on WhatsApp. Businesses will be able to choose from a series of flexible, pre-made building blocks so they can easily design rich, customisable experiences for their customers.
Zuckerberg said WhatsApp Flows gives businesses the ability to create customised experiences within chat threads.
Citing examples, he said that with 'WhatsApp Flows' a bank can build a way for customers to book an appointment to open a new account, a food delivery service can build a way to place an order from any of their partner restaurants or an airline can build a way to check in for a flight and pick up a seat, all without having to leave the chat thread.
The platform also announced expansion of Meta Verified to businesses on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. This means businesses will be able to subscribe for a fee and get a verified badge, account support, impersonation protection and premium features that help amplify their brand online and make it more efficient to chat with customers.
This will be rolling out to Facebook and Instagram businesses in select countries in the coming weeks, while WhatsApp will follow.
"We've been hearing from a lot of businesses that they're very eager to build more credibility and get greater visibility. So, I am excited to start rolling out Meta Verified in the coming months. And we're going to continue to evolve what's included in the toolkit to make sure that we're bringing the best value to businesses," he said.
Meta India VP Sandhya Devanathan said WhatsApp is now a thriving platform even for business interactions and added that Indians are using it to debut businesses, discover businesses and interact with businesses.
"For these entrepreneurs, WhatsApp is their business, it's their website, their digital storefront, their livelihood...our commitment to their success is unwavering. And that is why we have committed to upskilling and digitally training ten million traders in twenty-nine states across the length and breadth of our country and in eleven Indian languages over a period of three years," she said.