Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Announces Plans to Expand Shops Feature to WhatsApp

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg [Photo/Courtesy]

Facebook has announced plans to expand the “Shops” feature to popular messaging app, Whatsapp. The company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed the plans this week while speaking at a Live Audio Rooms event.

According to a previous blog post from the social media giant, at least 74 percent of the users surveyed visit the platform to discover brands and products online compared to 41 percent who visit the brands’ websites directly. 86 percent of the respondents purchased electronic, beauty, fashion or furniture products following findings from the platform.

During the live event, Zuckerberg shared that Facebook shops and Instagram shops attract about 300 million monthly visitors to the 1.2 million shops. Facebook is now expanding the feature to Whatsapp in selected countries and Facebook Marketplace in the US.

Business owners in the countries will be able to showcase their products on Whatsapp allowing users to browse through the catalog. Shoppers will be able to view available product information and chat with the business owners if interested in any products.

Read: Facebook Starts Rolling Out Shops Tab For Small Businesses

US business owners will also tap marketplace which has over 1 billion monthly visitors for a wider audience.

Zuckerberg also said they were introducing personalized ads to the shops, based on their shopping experiences. In the coming month, the company plans to start testing an artificial intelligence tool called “visual search” to allow users on Instagram to click and find the products in shops.

The move follows Zuckerberg’s announcement in last year’s earnings call, where he said that the company would be focusing on three key areas; e-commerce, augmented and virtual reality as it helps content creators generate income.

During the Live audio room session, Zuckerberg disclosed that augmented reality would come in handy in cases where shoppers want to try on items before making a purchase.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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