3 new WhatsApp features businesses need to know about

Each update makes Mark Zuckerberg's WhatsApp look more like the X app that Elon Musk wanted Twitter to be.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
WhatsApp on an iPhone
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app worldwide. In a lot of countries, it's already widely used to conduct business, where you can order deliveries, set up services, and get customer support. 

Now, Meta, the parent company behind WhatsApp, is embracing the app's versatile applications and giving businesses even more ways to get more out of it. 

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The WhatsApp Business Platform is getting several upgrades. Right now, Business Platform users can set up business profiles, create quick automatic responses, and drive sales with dynamic product lists and rich media. 

Coming soon, WhatsApp will let businesses do more through the app -- here's what those additions mean.

1. In-app shopping through Flows

New WhatsApp menus

WhatsApp is launching Flows, a new feature that will become available worldwide in the coming weeks. 

Businesses will be able to provide customers with a more complete shopping experience through WhatsApp using Flows. Customers will be able to access rich menus to book a spa or hair appointment, choose a seat on a train or bus, sign up for promotions, or customize products they're buying. 

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Customers will be able to perform these actions in the same chat window with the business they're interacting with, without ever leaving the app. The rich interactive menus will appear as popups within the chat. 

2. New payment models with WhatsApp Pay

New payments services

During its recent global Conversations event in Mumbai, WhatsApp announced that users in India will be able to add items to their card and choose the payment method of choice from supported Unified Payment Interface (UPI) network options or credit and debit cards. 

WhatsApp already lets users in Singapore and Brazil pay businesses within a chat. 

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While customers in India could also do the same through the UPI network, extending new payment models to more customers in a country where the messaging service has over 500 million users is a big step toward expanding the service worldwide.

3. Find Meta Verified businesses

Meta verification

Meta is introducing business verification to authenticate organizations to customers. This status will be evident via a Meta Verified badge and give customers confidence they're engaging with the right business. 

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Becoming Meta Verified will give businesses additional premium features, including multi-device support, so different employees can respond to customers, and a custom WhatsApp page that can be found through a web search. 

Meta is testing Meta Verified in small businesses first before expanding the feature to the WhatsApp Business Platform

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