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Facebook launches Shops: soon also ‘shopping’ in WhatsApp

Facebook started testing its new Facebook Shops component at the first million companies on Tuesday. The company announced this Tuesday evening. The feature will be rolled out worldwide in the coming months and will be available to all companies on Facebook.

With Facebook Shops, companies create their own online store with products that users can buy or save for later. Checkout products within Facebook Shops only works in the United States. In other countries, users have to click through to company web pages. It is not yet known when this checkout feature, which is currently linked to credit cards, will become available outside the US, a Facebook spokesperson told Bright.

WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger

Facebook Shops currently only work within Facebook and Instagram. A spokesperson says the feature is also coming to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. “That introduction is not very far away.” Facebook has been working on the integration of its three chat services (WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct) for some time. “In the future, you should be able to place orders directly from all our apps.”

Companies in the Netherlands must have a website with a sales system to be able to sell products via Facebook Shops. Users click through from Facebook Shops to their own systems. The use of the function is free for the time being.

Companies can adapt Facebook Shops to the design and corporate identity of their own websites. “Companies can better tell the story behind their brand with Facebook Shops,” said a spokesperson. Companies themselves must attract people to their shopping pages on Facebook via messages, stories or advertisements. According to Facebook, there are no consequences for the functioning of the news overview.

Instagram Shop and livestreams

This summer, the US will also launch the new Instagram Shop section, which will allow Instagram users to “discover” and purchase a variety of products. “Users can view selections of products from their favorite brands and influencers.” It is also possible to filter by types of products, such as beauty or living. Later this year, the Instagram app will have a new Shop tab in the menu.

Companies and influencers can now also highlight certain products in Facebook Shops via livestreams on Facebook and Instagram. Viewers of such a live stream see those products below the video and can click through to purchase them. This function will also be rolled out in the ‘coming months’.

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