During the Q1 Facebook Earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg shared some exciting updates about their WhatsApp’s business.

Facebook is working on a new feature for WhatsApp businesses that will allow them to build Facebook promotions from inside their WhatsApp business tools, which will then connect back to their WhatsApp presence, using the shared popularity of the two platforms.

For a lot of people around the world, online commerce is about messaging. People want to get help and even make purchases right from a chat. Small businesses want to be able to show products and take orders via message, and larger businesses want reliable and secure infrastructure to communicate with customers. As we’ve shared before, every day more than 175M people message a WhatsApp Business account. And today we’re announcing that businesses using our WhatsApp Business API are sending more than 100M messages on WhatsApp per day.

We often hear from small businesses around the world how Facebook and Instagram are their storefront to get discovered and WhatsApp is their store counter to discuss products, answer questions and close sales. With more and more people and businesses connecting digitally during the pandemic, it’s really important that we offer online tools to help them reach new customers and grow their businesses. While the focus at WhatsApp is on business messaging, we know how valuable ads can be to small businesses. That’s why in the last couple years we began offering businesses the ability to create ads on Facebook and Instagram that include a WhatsApp button so people can easily start a WhatsApp chat to ask questions with just one tap. These ads have proved extremely popular for small businesses all over the world and we’re announcing that there are now nearly 1M advertisers globally using them.

And in the future, we want to make it even simpler to create these ads. So starting soon we’ll add some options to the WhatsApp Business app so businesses that want to create a Facebook ad can get started right from an item in their catalog. These options will allow businesses to start the ad creation process directly from an individual product or service they offer and then take them to Facebook where they can create and publish the ad. We think this will prove really valuable as businesses look to get discovered, reach new customers and grow their businesses.”

This new change potentially opens up new cross-promotional opportunities for companies on WhatsApp, but the value would be constrained by how many users in the target market use both apps.

It will help attract more users to WhatsApp accounts and if the audience uses both applications often, it may be a good way to promote the WhatsApp business operation, and as the app’s eCommerce capabilities improve, this will become a more important factor to consider.