WhatsApp on Thursday said it has over 50 million users of its business app globally, of which more than 15 million are in India.
The Facebook-owned company, which had launched WhatsApp Business in 2018 to facilitate communication between businesses and customers, is also introducing new features like QR codes and catalog sharing to help companies get discovered.
"As businesses across the world prepare to reopen and expand online, people need simple ways to get in touch with them to ask questions, get information, or find something they might like to buy. Today we support more than 50 million WhatsApp Business app users," WhatsApp said in a statement.
In India, there are more than 15 million WhatsApp Business users every month, the company said.
"To help them and the thousands of larger businesses on the WhatsApp Business API get discovered, we are introducing new features to start a chat with a business on WhatsApp and see what goods and services they offer," WhatsApp said.
The messaging platform will offer QR codes to businesses globally. Previously when people came across an interesting business, they had to add its WhatsApp number to their contacts, one number at a time. Now, people can scan the QR code a business displays on its storefront, product packaging, or receipt to initiate a chat.
"Scanning a QR code will open a chat with an optional pre-populated message created by the business to start the conversation. With the app's messaging tools, businesses can quickly send information such as their catalog to get the conversation going," it said.
WhatsApp's catalogs offering allow businesses to showcase and share the goods or services they offer, which can help them close sales.
It said more than 40 million people view a business catalog — a feature launched last year — on WhatsApp each month.
More than 3 million users in India view a business catalog on WhatsApp each month, it said.
"To make it easier for people to discover products, we are making catalogs and individual items available to be shared as links on websites, Facebook, Instagram, and elsewhere. If people want to share a catalog or item they find with friends or family, they can simply copy the link and send it on WhatsApp or other places as well," WhatsApp said.
Additionally, WhatsApp is also bringing in 'Open for Business' sticker packs to help people and businesses stay connected, it said.