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Facebook will soon add stores to WhatsApp

Facebook makes shopping for things even easier as you flick through pictures of your high school lab partner’s dog. Yes, the Instagram stores and Facebook marketplace are already prominently displayed in the lower navigation tabs of the apps. But now, there will also be stores on WhatsApp, along with other updates.

Today in a live audio room, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced three eCommerce updates coming to Facebook products: Stores on WhatsApp and Marketplace, Store Ads, and Instagram Visual Search.

“More than 1 billion people use the Marketplace each month, so we are making it easier for businesses to bring their stores to the Marketplace to reach more people,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. When customers view a store on WhatsApp, they will have the option to chat with a business before buying something.

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At its F8 conference earlier this month, Facebook revealed WhatsApp for Business updates; Previously, it could take weeks to set up a business account, but now, businesses can sign up in just a few minutes. Although WhatsApp has more than 2 billion global users, only about 175 million people send messages with WhatsApp Business accounts daily for things like customer support. Given that Facebook has been pushing e-commerce on platforms like Instagram, it makes sense that this initiative is expanding to WhatsApp as well.

The implementation of Stores on WhatsApp will start soon, and Marketplace Stores inventory is now available to stores in the US with payment on site.

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The next feature, Store Ads, aims to provide a more individualized shopping experience based on people’s individual shopping habits. Zuckerberg said:

“We are launching the ability for a company to send buyers where they are most likely to make a purchase based on their buying behavior.”

As of now, AR Dynamic Ads are available in the United States – Companies like Huda Beauty and Laura Mercier are using these ads to allow customers to try out AR lipstick shades before making a purchase. These AR hands-on experiences are made available through API integrations with Modiface and Perfect Corp. Earlier this year, Pinterest collaborated with ModiFace to launch an AR eyeshadow trial.

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On Instagram, a feature of visual search based on artificial intelligence to test in the next few months.

“A lot of shopping discoveries start with visual discovery, right? Then you see something that you think is amazing. And then, you know, maybe you want to see other products that are like that, or you want to find out how to get that product, “Zuckerberg explained. “And this is the kind of problem that AI can really help with.”

With this AI, people will be able to upload their own photos, even those they haven’t posted on Instagram, to find similar items. Facebook is not the first company to use this technology; see Cadeera, Where Search or Stye.ai, for example. But bringing this technology to major platforms could change the way we shop, which appears to be Facebook’s current goal.

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