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Updates and News: The Latest WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business Updates

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WhatsApp is constantly adding new features to the WhatsApp app and WhatsApp Business. In this live blog, we summarize the latest WhatsApp app and WhatsApp Business updates as soon as they are announced to keep you in the loop. 

WhatsApp is a work in progress! As the Meta app is constantly adding features, upgrading old ones, and introducing new tools, it can be hard to keep track of all the changes. This is what this live blog is for!

As soon as Meta and WhatsApp announce new plans for the WhatsApp app or WhatsApp Business updates, we'll be adding them to this live blog to keep you informed.

WhatsApp (Business) updates 2023

Update May 22, 2023

Soon to come: editing sent WhatsApp messages

This is definitely an update many users have been waiting for: being able to edit sent messages on WhatsApp. Now, this feature is apparently almost ready to launch, as Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp, announced on Twitter. 

Coming to everyone over the next few weeks: edit a sent message on @WhatsApppic.twitter.com/aQZp6jTFRu

— Will Cathcart (@wcathcart) May 22, 2023

Judging from first images, you'll be able to edit sent messages like you're adding immediate reactions: by a long tap on the sent message. 

editing messages on WhatsApp
Editing messages on WhatsApp. (Source: WhatsApp)

WhatsApp still hasn't announced a date for the roll-out of this feature. 

Update May 16, 2023

Chat Lock: More privacy for personal conversations

WhatsApp introduced a new chat lock feature offers more privacy for personal conversations. With it, users are now able to separately protect individual chats, but also group chats. These can be locked by tapping on the name of the contact or group and selecting "Lock". 

A locked chat is then moved to a separate folder that only the user can access.

chat lock whatsapp
Chat Lock for WhatsApp chats. (Source: Meta)

Access to locked chats is only possible via the device password or biometric data such as fingerprint. Another smart feature is that notifications of locked chats don't show the content or the sender.  

This new feature will keep your particularly sensitive chats safe from prying eyes, even if you share your phone within your family or with other people. 

WhatsApp has also announced plans to add more chat lock options, such as locking for companion devices or using a self-defined password that is different from the device password. The rollout of the new feature has started globally and will gradually become available to all WhatsApp users.

Update April 11, 2023

WhatsApp Payments officially launched in Brazil 

Meta successfully completed the tests for WhatsApp Pay and has now officially launched the feature in Brazil. Customers now can pay businesses directly on WhatsApp. Mark Zuckerberg announced the rollout in a Facebook post

With the payment feature, users can now, according to Zuckerberg, "pay local businesses right in a WhatsApp chat."

WhatsApp Payments Brazil
WhatsApp Payments finally launches in Brazil. (Source: WhatsApp)

After India, Brazil has now become the second country to fully support the in-chat payment feature for WhatsApp. The feature will be rolled out to more Brazilian businesses in the following months. 

Update March 8, 2023

WhatsApp Payments in test phase in Brazil

After a test phase, Brazil's central bank approved WhatsApp Payments in Brazil on March 2. With this decision, customers will soon be able to make payments to small businesses directly on WhatsApp. Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp, announced the big news on Twitter.

"Soon, Brazilians will be able to browse products, add them to a cart and make secure payments to small businesses right from a chat with your credit or debit card.”

Will Cathcart

After the approval of peer-to-peer payments on WhatsApp in 2021, this is the next big step for the business use of the messenger app, as users can now pay merchants directly in-app. This means that businesses and customers can complete the entire customer journey on Meta's green messenger app. 

After India, this makes Brazil the second country in the world with in-app payment on WhatsApp. In India, WhatsApp launched the end-to-end shopping feature in 2022 in a partnership with the e-commerce store JioMart. 

Update February 7, 2023

New pricing for business messages

WhatsApp introduces a new pricing model for conversations between businesses and customers. The old model of differentiating between a business-initiated conversation and a user-initiated conversation now gives way to new message categories.

New message categories and templates for WhatsApp 2023

So, costs will depend on the category of message, rather than on who started the conversation. WhatsApp will roll out the new cost model in stages.

Since February 2, new templates are available. In March, the time frame for responses will increase, and in June 2023, the new conversation pricing will go into effect.

New message categories

WhatsApp now differentiates between four message categories:

  1. Utility conversations: Business-initiated conversations relating to a transaction, including post-purchase notifications and recurring billing statements to customers who have opted in.
  2. Authentication: Business-initiated conversations that enable businesses to authenticate users with one-time passcodes at multiple steps during the login process, such as account registration, account recovery, and integrity challenges.
  3. Marketing conversation: Business-initiated conversations to market a product or service to customers, such as relevant offers to customers who have opted in. Any business-initiated conversation that does not qualify as an authentication or utility conversation would also fall under this category.
  4. Service conversations: Any user-initiated conversation, such as to resolve a customer enquiry.

Our pricing is changing to reflect the different value each of these experiences drives for businesses and people. Marketing conversations drive incremental sales, while utility conversations facilitate existing sales. Service conversations help resolve customer inquiries.


According to WhatsApp, a marketing conversation on the messaging app brings a lot more value to a company than an SMS. As WhatsApp is able to make the entire customer journey more enticing, from the first media-based coupon to an automated first chat to a personalized sale to engaging re-activation campaigns, marketing conversations should reflect this cost. Similarly, WhatsApp feels that an authentication message does not bring a lot more value to customers and businesses than a text message.

That's why, starting in June, in some markets, the cost for marketing conversations will increase, while the utility messages will decrease in cost. Service conversations will not change their pricing.

Changes in pricing

For most markets, the pricing will not change. For instance, prices for marketing messages in most European countries, like Germany, France, and Spain will keep the pricing from the previous business-initiated messages. These are some of the countries that will see (slightly) increased costs per conversation (in US dollars):

  • Brazil: from 0.05 USD to 0.0625 USD
  • India: from 0.0066 USD to 0.0099 USD
  • Italy: from 0.0643 USD to 0.0691 USD
  • Mexico: from 0.0349 to 0.0436 USD
  • South Africa: from 0.0280 USD to 0.0379 USD
  • UK: from 0.0647 USD to 0.0705 USD
  • Canada and the US: from 0.0147 USD to 0.0250 USD

However, starting March 1, 2023, there will also be an extended window for the free entry point conversations. These will increase from 24 hours to 72 hours. And: if a conversation is initiated through a click-to-chat at, it'll be free of cost.

New templates

The template system will also change on WhatsApp. Starting now, new templates are available for business messaging. The message category you choose will determine the templates you can choose from.

Any time you send a template message, you'll be charged for starting a new conversation a template message is sent, it will result in a conversation charge, unless you send a conversation of the same category in the 24-hour window.

WhatsApp (Business) updates 2022

Update November 29, 2022

New WhatsApp feature to message yourself

A new feature in the WhatsApp consumer app will allow users to send messages to themselves. WhatsApp has confirmed that the global roll-out will begin in the next few weeks. Sending messages to your account or yourself is a great way to keep important information available directly in WhatsApp chats.

With this new feature,  it'll be possible for users to send notes, reminders, links, media, and more to themselves on WhatsApp. Users will see their own contact at the top of the contact list when they create a new chat. Moreover, these messages can also be pinned at the top of the chat overview to quickly find them in the chats.

Graphic showing how to message yourself on WhatsApp


Update November 18, 2022

WhatsApp launches "Business Directory" in first countries

WhatsApp has launched its "Business Directory", after testing it in the last year in Brazil, one of its core markets. Now, the Meta company officially started the Business Directory in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Indonesia and the UK.

Following a "yellow pages" concept, users in these countries can now use the Directory to search and find companies. Users can either search companies by business type (shopping, hotels, restaurants, banks), or directly by company name to get in touch on WhatsApp.

WhatsApp Business directory

This new feature allows users for the first time to actively search for a business on WhatsApp, and contact it directly. The Business Directory will make customer acquisition on the app a lot easier for companies. Unlike with competitor Telegram, this feature didn't exist until now on WhatsApp.

Currently, the Business Directory only lists companies that use the WhatsApp Business Platform (formerly: WhatsApp Business API). In Brazil, users can also find companies that use the WhatsApp Business App for small businesses. WhatsApp will probably open up the Directory for more markets and businesses in the future.

Mock-ups showing Brazilian nearby feature for business directory on WhatsApp

The new feature makes it even easier for WhatsApp users to get in touch with companies to make purchases or use customer service. There is no need to search for phone numbers anymore, and all searches are processed in such a way that they cannot be associated with the user's account.

The directory of businesses is another step by WhatsApp to integrate the full shopping experience in the app. According to WhatsApp, the long-term goal is to allow users to securely pay with their credit or debit card directly within the chat. This feature was recently launched in India, and will now be tested in Brazil with multiple payment partners.


WhatsApp Payment India


Update November 4, 2022

Communities: WhatsApp launches new group features

WhatsApp has begun rolling out the already announced expansion of group chats globally to all users. "Communities" provides administrators of group chats with more options for larger discussion groups. Communities is primarily intended to help organizations, clubs, schools, and other private groups to communicate better and stay organized.

Screenshots showing WhatsApp communities

A number of new features are now available for group chats on WhatsApp:

  • improved admin control
  • Possibility of sub-groups and announcement groups
  • Voice and video calls for 32 people
  • Sharing of larger files up to 2GB
  • Emoji reactions and polls
Graphic showing different functions in WhatsApp communities

With WhatsApp's standard end-to-end encryption, these enhanced group chats are a real added value for clubs and private groups to better connect and share, while maintaining full protection of their communications. This is also a clear "attack" on Telegram and the very widely used group channels there, which are not encrypted by default.


Update October 12, 2022

WhatsApp to allow new industries on WhatsApp Business

Great news for pharmacies, drug stores and digital subscription providers! Starting October 25, these types of businesses are now allowed to use WhatsApp Business to offer customer service, send out updates with the marketing newsletter, and sell their products (with some limitations).

Until now, companies from these verticals were excluded (with very few exceptions) from the use of WhatsApp Business by WhatsApp commerce policies. This is about to change!

WhatsApp updated their policies to make it easier for these companies to onboard. October 25, WhatsApp will have a commerce policy (the same as before) and an updated business messaging policy. Depending on the industry, these guidelines will regulate what companies can use which commercial and marketing features of WhatsApp business.

For the new verticals, these are the new requirements and restrictions:

  • Pharmacies and drugstores can use all functions, including commerce functions, but only for convenience and food items. They are still not allowed to advertise or sell over the counter or prescription drugs. Drugstores and pharmacies that only offer over the counter and prescritpion drugs are still excluded from WhatsApp Business.
  • Digital services and subscriptions can use all possibilities, except sales. This means they can advertise their services, but not sell them directly via WhatsApp. Digital services from streaming to gaming services are now allowed to the platform, but WhatsApp still excludes news aggregators from WhatsApp Business.
  • Providers of supplements can also use all WhatsApp Business features, as long as they do not sell directly through WhatsApp. The same restrictions apply to companies that deal with animals, such as the adoption of pets, sale of farm animals, or raw products. The sale of animals that don't count as livestock or are not meant for consumption is still prohibited.

If your company has been excluded from using WhatsApp Business in the past, but fits the new guidelines, you can appeal on or after October 25 when the new policies go live.


Update October 6, 2022

WhatsApp rolls out WhatsApp Premium subscription for businesses

In May 2022, WhatsApp announced that it was planning on launching a subscription model for WhatsApp Business.

Beta version of WhatsApp premium subscription

The subscription called WhatsApp Premium will give companies with a business profile access to additional features, such as adding a custom link to their profiles or improving the device linking features.

  • The custom business link will be a unique short link that can be added to the business profile (for example: https://wa.me/mybusiness). Businesses can use it to guide users to their website or directly initate a conversation. It will be possible to change the link every 90 days.
  • WhatsApp Premium users can also link up to ten devices, which will make it easier for multiple employees to handle customer conversations. Note however that you still won't be able to link WhatsApp Business to your CRM system to save the customer information or conversation history. This is still only possible on the WhatsApp Business Platform.

Accordng to Wabetainfo, WhatsApp has started rolling out WhatsApp Premium for select businesses in a few countries. The company is planning a global roll out in the future.


Update September 27, 2022

WhatsApp launches call link sharing feature

Video call and group call links are already known from video call apps. Now the world's most popular messaging app WhatsApp is introducing this feature, allowing users to share a link to a call with friends, family, or interest groups. This fits with Meta's announcement that up to 32 people will soon be able to make an end-to-end encrypted video call together.

Users will find the option to create a video call link under the "Calls" menu tab. Once the link is created, users can easily share it with specific people and let them join the video call with just one click. The validity of the created links is up to 90 days and if an invited person doesn't have WhatsApp installed, they'll be redirected directly to the app store to install the app.

WhatsApp call link

The update is expected to be rolled out to all users worldwide as early as this week.


Update September 22, 2022

WhatsApp Business Update Terms of Service

WhatsApp is now following European Union requirements and updating its terms of service for users of WhatsApp Business services, including the WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp Business Platform (WhatsApp Business API), as of December 15, 2022.

These adjustments only apply to users of WhatsApp Business services, that is, businesses and users who communicate with businesses. There is no change to the privacy and security for private communications between users via WhatsApp.

For all users worldwide, it will be made clearer how businesses can continue to work with service providers and business solution providers (BSPs), such as MessengerPeople.

All other changes are related to European regulatory requirements and are expected to comply with all specifications regarding the following aspects as of December:

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regarding Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) for data transfers
  • European Electronic Communications Code (EECC)
  • European Union ePrivacy Directive and Fairness and Transparency Regulation

💡It's important to note that, according to Meta, the mentioned updates won't result in more data being transferred from WhatsApp to Meta.

As soon as the update of the terms and conditions takes place, we'll add the most important details here, if necessary.


Update August 24, 2022

WhatsApp Business Platform (API) updates for marketing and sales

With the constantly growing success of WhatsApp as a marketing and sales channel, the company has now announced comprehensive innovations. These are intended to make it even easier for companies to scale marketing campaigns in the future, to bring them live more quickly and to be able to measure success (ROI) in more detail. The updates now announced refer to the marketing business initiated messages — which are also known to the general public as WhatsApp newsletters or WhatsApp marketing templates.

Template creation and approval

Previously, all templates created by companies were manually reviewed by a WhatsApp team. This process is now automated, reducing the review and approval time from twelve hours to one minute. This now enables short-term campaigns to be implemented and represents a significant advantage for marketers.

Important: If too many users complain and the quality score drops (for instance, due to spam reports), or if WhatsApp later detects violations of its own guidelines, the business number is no longer automatically blocked. Instead, only the corresponding template is paused and the company receives a message indicating which category has been violated.

Also new is that you can now edit the template after it has been approved without having to resubmit it for approval. Small changes include, for example, changing individual words or correcting spelling errors, so that the basic character or content of the template doesn't change. Companies are allowed one edit per day and ten edits per month.

Opt-out button: In the future, users and subscribers will be able to select and unsubscribe from marketing messages. Previously, it was only possible to block the entire business contact or the corresponding number. This now means that companies can continue to send service messages to answer users' requests. Companies will have to integrate this feature by themselves into their templates. It's exciting for quality analysis that the opt-out buttons can include reasons for unsubscribing, which you can then also view and evaluate.

Marketing messages limits

Companies that demonstrate a high quality (quality score) of their marketing messages can increase their message limits faster and have lower minimum message volume requirements.

There are three factors that you need to fulfill, before being able to increase your messaging limit.

  1. have a connected phone number
  2. a quality rating of medium or high
  3. initiate X or more conversations with unique customers in the last seven days, where X is your current messaging limit divided by two.

If you meet all conditions, WhatsApp will increase your messaging limit by one level in 24 hours.

So, if your messaging limit is, for example, 1,000 messages, and you are able to reach 500 unique customers within the seven-day time frame, your limit will be increased to 10,000 after 24 hours of having sent the 500th message. Let's say you reach customer number 500 at 3 PM on Tuesday, your limit will increase to 10,000 messages at 3 PM on Wednesday.

This allows your marketing campaign to scale much faster.

In addition, for companies that are starting out new on the WhatsApp Business Platform, there will be also a new upgrade in messaging limits starting September 30, 2022. The initial business-initiated messaging limits are now 250 unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period (vs. before 50).

Insights on target groups and campaigns

As successful marketing campaigns can only be validated by corresponding data, KPIs for measuring success are essential. WhatsApp is aware of this and will therefore provide more metrics on target groups and campaign performance (such as messages read or sent) in a new, clear dashboard in the Business Manager (WhatsApp Manager). This means that companies can evaluate the ROI (return on investment) of campaigns better and make more precise target group segmentations. All of this helps marketers to make better data-driven decisions.

💡The described features will be rolled out in a first test phase starting September 7 in Colombia, Mexico and Brazil, and will then be available worldwide to all WhatsApp Business Platform (API) users and thus also to all our customers starting October.


Set up your own WhatsApp campaigns with Sinch Engage and reach thousands of customers.

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Updates: August 9, 2022

WhatsApp Privacy Updates

WhatsApp now allows deleting sent messages within 48 hours. The usually well-informed source WABetaInfo even reports a total of 60 hours. The notification that a message has been deleted remains in place to ensure transparency for the recipient as well.

Mark Zuckerberg has also announced new features for data protection and more privacy:

  • Leave groups without notification (only admins of the groups get a notification)
  • Control who can see when you're online
  • Screenshot blocking for one-time view messages
Graphic showing WhatsApp privacy updates


Update July 12, 2022

WhatsApp Reactions: more interaction possibilities in WhatsApp chats

WhatsApp introduced the long-awaited "reactions to WhatsApp messages" feature in May 2022, which had already been in development since 2021.

In the app, all you have to do is click longer on the message and the emoji menu opens. On WhatsApp Web and WhatsApp Desktop, you can simply hover over it and the reactions menu appears. In chats between two people, users can only select one reaction: It's not possible to go back and select a second one. If you go to the menu again, the previous reaction will be replaced.

Until now, it was possible to use the following WhatsApp Reactions:

  • Thumbs up 👍
  • Heart ❤️
  • Crying from laughter 😂
  • Surprised face 😮
  • Sad crying face 😢
  • Thanks 🙏

Now, WhatsApp has expanded those options and any emoji in any shade can now be used as a Reaction too, as Will Cathcart, Head of WhatsApp at Meta announced in his latest tweet.

🎉 Reactions on @WhatsApp are now even better. We've added support for you to use any emoji you want (in any skin tone) as a reaction, so you can 👏 or 🤷 or 🤦 or 🤯 or 💚 or ... pic.twitter.com/fgV1cXOTfh

— Will Cathcart (@wcathcart) July 11, 2022



Update June 10, 2022

Edit messages, undo deletion, plus double verification function

Edit messages after sending

WhatsApp is working on a feature that will allow users to edit their messages after they've been sent. Currently, users can only delete sent messages without the alternative of editing them instead.

In the future, when a message is selected, an editing option can be used in addition to the "copy" and "forward" options for the messages. With one click, users can then correct typos or spelling errors in the messages - even after they have already been sent.

Undo button for deleted messages

Also under development is a button to undo deleted messages. This function allows users to restore a message that was deleted only for themselves. This is especially useful if you had accidentally not selected "delete for everyone" and want to change this.

To undo the deletion, all you have to do is select the deleted message and choose the "Undo" option. Beta users report a time limit, however. It's not clear yet whether users will also be able to restore deleted messages "for everyone", but it would definitely be useful.

Double verification feature

WhatsApp is also working on a double verification feature to increase security. Users will have to go through an additional verification process when they try to log into their WhatsApp account from another smartphone.

This requires users to enter an additional security code that is sent to the registered mobile number. Currently, users only have to enter a six-digit verification code that they receive via their registered number. The double verification feature increases security as users will also be notified if there is an attempt to access the account from other side.


WhatsApp (Business) updates 2021


Update September 20, 2021

Add WhatsApp button on Instagram

To make to start of a conversation quick and easy, Instagram makes it possible for companies worldwide to add a WhatsApp click-to-chat-button on their Instagram profile.

Chat screens showint the WhatsApp button on Instagram

How to get more users for your WhatsApp service


Update September 2021

Click to chat ads now automatically lead to the right messenger ap

With click to chat, companies can place ads that go directly into WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger chats. Now, this ad gets a useful update. Until now, companies had to pick the messaging channel they wanted to direct users to. Facebook is now launching an ad option where the feature will automatically detect which messenger channel the individual user prefers to use and direct them to it.

Chat screens showing Whatsapp click to chat ads


Update July 16, 2021

Use WhatsApp on multiple devices at the same time!

Whooop - WhatsApp can now (finally) be used on multiple devices at the same time!

WhatsApp on multiple devices

This gives companies new possibilities in their cutomser communication. 

  • 📱 Also possible without smartphone connection.
  • 🖥 Up to 4 devices
  • 🔒 End-to-end encryption remains in place
  • 🤷 BETA only for now.

Very handy for small businesses that want to offer customer service via WhatsApp in different locations via the WhatsApp Business App, for example.

For our customers nothing changes. Here WhatsApp can always be used by an unlimited number of employees, with different roles and rights, from any device, and around the globe.


Update June 22, 2021

WhatsApp allows "non-transactional notifications": a new way to actively send offers and products!

Under the somewhat unwieldy term "Non-transactional Notifications", companies have been able to proactively send information to their customers again since 06/2021. However, there are some requirements to be observed and it is not completely free of charge!

👉 Everything on the new WhatsApp newsletter marketing options

Non-transactional notifications on WhatsApp from 2021


Update May 02, 2021

Facebook and Instagram ads directly in WhatsApp

WhatsApp ads on Instagram and Facebook

Soon companies will be able to place ads via WhatsApp Business app.

Facebook wants to offer businesses that use WhatsApp Business a new way to place ads. Until now, ads could only be placed via Facebook's ad manager with the help of Click to Chat. Now this functionality is to be integrated directly into the WhatsApp Business app. This function is currently not planned for the WhatsApp Business API.


Update April 12, 2021

WhatsApp Pay now also launches in Brazil!

After the back and forth with WhatsApp Pay in Brazil in June 2020, WhatsApp Pay has now launched with 30 institutions in the country. Facebook Payments has been approved as a "payment initiator" in Brazil. This is reported by the Brazilian newspaper globo.com

The Central Bank (BC) on Tuesday granted the operating permits that allow WhatsApp to carry out bank transfers. Visa and Mastercard also received approvals for two open "payment agreements", such as wire transfer, deposit, prepayment, and domestic. WhatsApp will also be part of the agreement, which will allow transfers through the messaging app.

Under the model approved by the Central Bank, WhatsApp only initiates transactions between customer accounts at the financial institutions where they're account holders. The credential to be used in the application is the Visa or MasterCard debit or prepaid card number.

However, according to BC, transactions can be made from the date WhatsApp makes the functionality available to the customer, and the rate charged for the bank transfer is set by the application.


Update January 7, 2021

WhatsApp term and conditions adjustments: For private communication hardly any changes

For the new year, WhatsApp has updated the terms and conditions (T&Cs) of the messaging app. By giving consent, the user now grants, among other things, that certain data can also be shared with Facebook companies and Facebook service providers to connect WhatsApp with other Facebook company products; to ensure the security and integrity of all Facebook company products; and to improve ad and product experiences regarding Facebook company products.

However, this exchange of meta data isn't new and doesn't affect users within the EU, which WhatsApp also explicitly confirms to the media:

No changes to WhatsApp's data sharing practices in the European region (including the UK) resulting from the updated Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. For the avoidance of doubt, it remains the case that WhatsApp does not share WhatsApp user data from the European region with Facebook so that Facebook can use this data to improve its products or ads.


WhatsApp Business T&Cs: what really changes!

In a FAQ article, WhatsApp explains the changes to the terms and conditions and the implications for businesses. The changes to the terms and conditions primarily affect WhatsApp's expanded offering for businesses. The changes to the WhatsApp terms and conditions are intended to ensure security here. Specifically, it is about the Facebook hosting service, the new options such as stores and shopping carts and how users communicate with companies via WhatsApp.

Learn more about WhatsApp T&C adjustments 2021 here.


WhatsApp Business updates 2020

Update December 8, 2020

WhatsApp business app with catalog and shopping carts

WhatsApp Business App users can now easily showcase and share their products and services with customers by creating a catalog.

Each product or service in the catalog has a unique title as well as optional fields such as price, a description, a link to the website, and a product code. This allows customers to easily identify products in the catalog. Business owners can upload a maximum of 500 products or services to their catalog.

WhatsApp is also now offering a "shopping carts" feature in the WhatsApp Business app. Shopping carts are great for communicating with businesses that typically sell multiple items at once, such as a local restaurant or clothing stores. Shopping carts allow customers to browse a catalog, select multiple products, and send the order to the business as a single message. This makes it easier for businesses to track orders, manage inquiries from customers, and close sales.

These features are only available in the WhatsApp Business app. MessengerPeople by Sinch customers simply use our drag-and-drop Chatbot Builder for these features..


Update November 5, 2020

WhatsApp Pay launched in India

After the back and forth with WhatsApp Payment in Brazil, WhatsApp is now launching its payment function in India. In a blog article WhatsApp says: "As of today people all over India can send money via WhatsApp. This secure payment method makes transferring money as easy as sending a message".

This is made possible through a partnership with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and by using the Unified Payment Interface (UPI).


Update October 27, 2020

WhatsApp updates Terms and Conditions for Business Services

WhatsApp is updating the terms and conditions for its business services, such as the WhatsApp Business API. The focus is on the following points:

  • Clarification of data erasure practices
  • Privacy Shield is replaced by standard contract clauses
  • Supplements to data security terms to explain how WhatsApp retains data

By establishing standard contractual clauses instead of Privacy Shield, WhatsApp is addressing the fact that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) recently ruled that the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield is no longer sufficient to ensure adequate data protection for a data importer in the U.S.


Update October 23, 2020

WhatsApp Payment, shopping, and e-eommerce

We've written a lot about conversational commerce and WhatsApp. Now it seems that WhatsApp is taking it to the next level. In a blog post they describe some exciting new features as "The future of business messaging":

  • Shopping: Customers will soon have even more opportunities to find out about available products and buy them directly via a chat
  • Hosting: In the coming months, we will further expand our partnerships with various business solution providers, thus continuing our two-year cooperation. (Note: MessengerPeople is one of these WhatsApp Business solution providers)
  • Business customers: Business customers will incur future costs for some of the services we offer. This will allow us to further expand our own business model and continue to offer free end-to-end encrypted chats, video calls, and voice calls to more than two billion people.
WhatsApp shopping in India from 2020

More detailed information about WhatsApp Payment and the costs mentioned above is not available at this time.


Update October 21th 2020

Human Escalation Paths: WhatsApp chatbots must be handed over to human colleagues!

As part of the October 2020 updates to the WhatsApp Business API, WhatsApp has announced the following: Companies that partially automate their customer communications, for example, via chatbot, will have to ensure that customers are handed over to a human colleague by a WhatsApp bot as of November 1, 2020.

Possible solutions for this are:

  • Transfer to a human agent in the chat
  • by providing a telephone number or e-mail
  • via web support or support form
The human escalation path for WhatsApp business

Ecalation to social media accounts such as Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Telegram, and others is not considered a valid solution because they require a login and an account with another service. Furthermore, indirect channels, such as a help center website or a link to an app, do not fulfill this requirement either.

WhatsApp regularly reviews companies to determine if they have integrated a human escalation path into their WhatsApp chatbot. Companies that do not have a Human Escalation Path will experience limitations in sending or receiving messages through the WhatsApp Business API.

💡 Tip: Sinch Engage's Chatbot Builder allows you to quickly and easily create an efficient chatbot that ensures the handover to a human colleague.


Update Septemberber 7, 2020

WhatsApp Business app: the product catalog feature is now live!

It was annunced at the Facebook developer conference f8 at the end of April 2019 that the WhatsApp Business App would introduce the function of a product catalog this year. During the f8 keynote, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that since its launch in 2018, the WhatsApp Business app has been used by millions of small businesses worldwide to communicate privately with their customers.

WhatsApp Business catalog

Since today, the product catalog feature is available and live in the WhatsApp Business App for both Android and iOS. This important feature will be rolled out first in Brazil, Germany, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Great Britain, and the US. You can learn how to create a product catalog in this short video.


Update July 10, 2020

QR Codes, short links, product catalog sharing for the WhatsApp Business API and app

WhatsApp has announced new entry points for both the WhatsApp Business app and the WhatsApp Business API, enabling customers and businesses to connect faster.

QR codes for WhatsApp Business

Features for the WhatsApp Business API and the WhatsApp Business App

a) Get in contact with companies via QR codes

After WhatsApp recently introduced QR codes for home users, this feature is now available for the WhatsApp Business API and WhatsApp Business App.

  • Prerequisite: Companies must have a WhatsApp Business account for the WhatsApp API and the phone number must be connected to the WhatsApp Business account
  • Organizations can manage up to 2,000 digital/analog QR codes in WhatsApp Manager
  • WhatsApp QR codes are valid until the company deletes them

b) Short links

The integration of short links in any digital surface (website, etc.) makes it easy for interested parties and customers to open a conversation with a company, provided that the first contact is made by the customer! Furthermore, there will be wa.me links (click to chat), but with an improved solution for embedding.

  • Pre-filled messages that are connected to a short link can be edited or deleted at any time.
  • Phone numbers are masked in short links, only a random code appears in the URL.
  • The pre-filled message syntax does not have to be included in the short link URL.

Features for the WhatsApp Business App

Parts of product catalogs

Product catalogs of small businesses using WhatsApp Business App are becoming increasingly popular for contacting the business through WhatsApp. Every month, more than 40 million people use corporate catalogs on WhatsApp. Currently, WhatsApp Business App is used by more than 50 million small businesses worldwide.

To make it easier for customers to discover products, WhatsApp provides catalogs and individual articles that are available as links to Web sites, Facebook, Instagram, and more. When you want to share a catalog or an item you found with friends or family, you simply copy the link and share it on WhatsApp or elsewhere. WhatsApp explains how to share product catalogs in its FAQ section.


Update June 24, 2020

WhatsApp Pay launched in Brazil and immediately stopped again!

Following the launch of WhatsApp Pay, WhatsApp's online payment service in Brazil on June 15, 2020, it has now been announced one week later that the central bank has suspended WhatsApp Pay, which is based on the online payment system Facebook Pay, for the time being. The reason is a "preliminary analysis by the market surveillance", which had to be carried out.

WhatsApp Pay Brazil


Update May 13, 2020

WhatsApp Business API with interactive buttons

Previously, WhatsApp only had numbers, letters or hashtags that could guide users in dialogs (with chatbots). The buttons now provided by WhatsApp are functional buttons that companies can make available to their users in dialogs. However, the WhatsApp Business API buttons can only be used if the company also uses the WhatsApp Business API.

WhatsApp interactive buttons


Update July 12, 2020

WhatsApp Pay about to launch!

WhatsApp, the world's most popular messenger app, bought by Facebook in 2014 for around 20 billion US dollars, is reportedly about to officially launch its payment solution on the Indian market.

WhatsApp has created the necessary data storage facilities in India to introduce WhatsApp Pay to the chat app's entire Indian user base, which is estimated to be between 350 million and 400 million users, according to The Economic Times.

Since February 2018, WhatsApp has tested the pay feature in India with over one million users. This is over now! WhatsApp is entering the Indian market and once the authorities give the go-ahead, WhatsApp will enter the digital payments market, which is expected to have a volume of over one trillion US dollars by 2023. So, it's clear why there's so much competition. Solutions such as PayTm, which is currently the largest provider, Google Pay, which is currently gaining market share quite quickly, Samsung Pay, Mobikwik, PhonePe, Freecharge, Citrus and soon WeChat Pay (WeChat is involved in the Indian Messenger Hike) compete for users.

Advantage WhatsApp Pay

WhatsApp has a user base of 350 to 400 million people. They will be the first to use WhatsApp Pay. That's a huge advantage over some competitors. Whether and when WhatsApp Pay will be rolled out worldwide is unsure. WhatsApp Pay is a huge priority for WhatsApp, which can also be seen from the fact that it was an important part of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's f8 keynote.

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Image of Marinela Potor, editor-in-chief at Sinch Engage.
Written by: Marinela Potor