WhatsApp Rolls Out In-App Shopping Product With India’s JioMart

For the first time, WhatsApp is rolling out a shopping product in India to browse and purchase groceries within the app. Know how it will work.

| Updated on: Aug 29 2022, 15:53 IST
Add style to your WhatsApp messages, do it this way
1/6 Are you bored of seeing and using normal WhatsApp messaging format? The online messaging platform is providing you with the options to change the format of the text to Italic, Bold, Strikethrough and more. Want to try the new WhatsApp text format? Before that you need to know that once you change the style of the text, you will not be able to disable it. (HT_PRINT)
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2/6 How to change WhatsApp text to Italic: In order to change the text inside your messages to Italic, you will have to place an underscore on both sides of the text. For example: _text_. (Reuters)
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3/6 How to change WhatsApp text to Bold: If you want your text to be Bold, you need to place an asterisk on both sides of the text.For example- *text*. (Reuters)
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4/6 How to change WhatsApp text to Strikethrough: To Strikethrough your message, you need to place a tilde on both sides of the text. Here is how- ~text~. (AP)
5/6 How to change WhatsApp text to Monospace: Now in order to monospace your message, you will have to place three backticks on both sides of the text like this```text```. (Pixabay)
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6/6 You can also use an alternative method to change the format of the text inside WhatsApp message on Android and iPhone. Android users can change the format of WhatsApp text by tapping and holding the text they are entering in the text field, then choose Bold, Italic, or More. You need to tap More to choose Strikethrough or Monospace. While, if you are an iPhone user then you need to tap the text you are entering in the text field, then Select or Select All then B_I_U. After this, you will have to choose Bold, Italic, Strikethrough, or Monospace. (HT_Print)
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The new WhatsApp feature lets users in India shop for products from JioMart, and pay for them directly within the app. (Pixabay)

WhatsApp, the popular messaging service owned by Meta Platforms Inc., is rolling out a shopping product in India, the first time users will be able to browse and purchase groceries and other household products without leaving the app.

WhatsApp unveiled the new tool alongside JioMart, part of Reliance Industries Ltd.'s Jio Platforms, an Indian tech company that Meta invested almost $6 billion into in early 2020. The new feature lets users in India shop for products from JioMart, and pay for them directly within the app. People could previously browse products via WhatsApp, but had to leave the service to finish the transaction.

Having a full-blown shopping experience inside WhatsApp has been a longtime goal of Meta Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg. The social networking giant paid $22 billion to acquire WhatsApp in 2014, but the service is still a small part of Meta's overall business. The app now makes money by charging some businesses to message customers, and also by selling click-to-message ads, which are ads that appear in users' Facebook or Instagram feeds and then kick them into a private chat with a business once they're clicked. Those ads already bring in billions of dollars per year across all Meta's apps.

Zuckerberg is targeting a much larger business opportunity for WhatsApp related to commerce and payments, especially in emerging markets where the app is popular like India and Brazil. The CEO has spoken about business messaging on almost every Meta earnings call in the past few years, pitching the idea as a complementary business line to the company's existing advertising business.

“Business messaging is an area with real momentum and chat-based experiences like this will be the go-to way people and businesses communicate in the years to come,” Zuckerberg said in a statement Monday.

Part of the struggle for Meta has been related to payments regulation. The company tested payments in India for years before getting formal government approval in 2020 to expand the test into a full-blown feature.JioMart, the online grocery push by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, is competing with Walmart Inc.-controlled Flipkart and Amazon. com Inc. for a bigger piece of India's growing online retail market. A partnership with WhatsApp could just give it a much-needed boost.

“When Jio platforms and Meta announced our partnership in 2020, Mark and I shared a vision of bringing more people and businesses online and creating truly innovative solutions that will add convenience to the daily lives of every Indian,” Ambani, who is chairman of Reliance Industries, said in a statement. “The JioMart on WhatsApp experience furthers our commitment of enabling a simple and convenient way of online shopping to millions of Indians.”

A Meta spokesperson said the company hopes to expand in India to team up with more businesses, and also aims to bring this shopping tool to other countries.

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First Published Date: 29 Aug, 15:53 IST