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New WhatsApp Feature Lets SMBs Share Products To Drive Sales

WhatsApp Introduces Catalogs To Help SMBs

WhatsApp business is introducing a new feature to help small businesses interact with customers, according to VentureBeat. The feature is called catalog, and it will help users share a picture, price, description and link to an item.

Users can then purchase the item or browse the company’s other products. Catalog launched Thursday (Nov. 7) in the U.S., India, Germany, Brazil, Mexico and the U.K.

Catalog was introduced earlier this year at the F8 developer conference. It can be found in the Business settings part of the app and shared with a business profile, or by a business owner during a conversation with a customer.

WhatsApp’s business section has about 5 million users, and the chat app has about 1.5 billion. The business part of the app was created so that companies could reach their customers with greetings, timely responses and business profiles. 

The move toward eCommerce is a long-term plan for revenue for WhatsApp and its parent company, Facebook.

Recently, Facebook filed lawsuit against NSO Group, an Israeli cybersecurity company, alleging that it hacked WhatsApp users.

Facebook filed the complaint on Oct. 29. It alleged the group used malware on about 1,400 cellphones, targeting human rights activists, journalists, diplomats, government officials and others in a widespread malicious scheme.

Although the malware wasn’t able to break through Facebook’s encryption, it did infect users’ phones, which gave NSO Group access to messages after they were decrypted.

Facebook also named a second organization in the suit: Q Cyber, which is a company affiliated with NSO Group. Earlier this year, WhatsApp confirmed that it had been hacked, but it didn’t say who the perpetrator was.

“WhatsApp encourages people to upgrade to the latest version of our app, as well as keep their mobile operating system up to date, to protect against potential targeted exploits designed to compromise information stored on mobile devices,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told CNBC at the time. “We are constantly working alongside industry partners to provide the latest security enhancements to help protect our users.”

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