WhatsApp shopping button goes live - but there’ll be a cost for businesses

WhatsApp for Business
(Image credit: Facebook)

WhatsApp for Business, the platform created for e-commerce by owners Facebook, launches its new shopping button today. However, while the button will offer handy one-click access into what businesses have to offer, e-commerce traders look set to be hit by a tiered costing system in order to use it.

Available for Android and iPhone devices, the shopping button will certainly be useful and replaces the existing voice call button. It allows customers to quickly access online shopping catalogs on the WhatsApp Business App

Users will be able to access the button directly via their chat with your business, enabling customers to talk over and pay for any products or services they're interested in on-the-fly.

As TechRadar Pro recently reported, the move is just one of several changes planned for the e-commerce platform, which already enjoys having around 50 million business customers on its books worldwide. With over 175 million people messaging every day via Whats App Business accounts, the new feature could certainly make sound financial sense for Facebook.

WhatsApp Business

"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," WhatsApp said in its recent blog post.

But what is less clear at this point is how much business customers will have to pay for the services being rolled out.

Business customers will need to have an account registered to the WhatsApp Business App in order to be able to use the new button. If your business already has a catalog in operation the shopping button should automatically appear in chats when customers connect with your company. 

How much this and other forthcoming new tools will cost, however, seems rather less obvious.

"We will charge business customers for some of the services we offer, which will help WhatsApp continue building a business of our own while we provide and expand free end-to-end encrypted text, video and voice calling for more than two billion people," the company's blog post added.

Rob Clymo

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.