Facebook – the social media company wants more people to shop in WhatsApp. In a future update, the company plans to expand the in-app shopping features in its messaging app to give users more ways to buy products directly from chats.
The statement given by Facebook lacks details; however, a promotional video shows how such a transaction might go down. For instance, a user messages a business company, which can reply with a link to a product catalog. The shopper can then add items to their carts and checkout from the app.
WhatsApp has had a catalog feature in the past, but it was more limited in comparison to what Facebook’s preview is suggesting. The social network has been making changes to expand its shopping features across its apps, which can be seen in a recent launch – Facebook Shops. This allows a business to create this kind of product catalog then work across Facebook and Instagram. So it’s inevitable the company would want to integrate a similar feature in WhatsApp.
It’s safe to assume that these transactions would use Facebook Pay, which the company began testing with WhatsApp in Brazil earlier this year. However, the program was interrupted after the Country’s Central Bank took issue with it. But the company says it has plans to bring payments to all its users in the future.
TikTok – a top-rated video-sharing application has been a victim of numerous plot twists since August. President Donald Trump announced an executive order in August to ban the social media application over privacy concerns and its Chinese ownership unless TikTok was to be selling its US operations to an American company by September 20.
Microsoft was seen amongst the potential bidders for this application owned by Byte Dance. However, it is widely reported that TikTok has chosen Oracle over Microsoft to take over its US operations. The co-founders and CEO of Oracle both happen to be open supporters of Trumps’. But there’s an unexpected development – Oracle has instead offered TikTok to buy their rights to take over their US data operations, which Trump opposed when Microsoft has a similar plan, making the situation complicated.
As of Monday morning, Oracle stated, “Oracle confirms Secretary Mnuchin’s statement that it is part of the proposal submitted by ByteDance to the Treasury Department over the weekend in which Oracle will serve as the trusted technology provider. Oracle has a 40-year record providing secure, highly performant technology situations.”
In light of Oracle’s proposal, many questions are being raised as to why President Trump, in the first place, pressured TikTok to sell its operations in the US. It also raises confusion regarding whether the new proposal will address the security concerns that attracted the legislation to ban the application in the first place and if it will change how TikTok operates.
Former Facebook security chief Alex Stamos posted on Twitter, “A deal where Oracle takes over hosting without source code, and significant operational changes would not address any of the legitimate concerns about TikTok.” According to the Financial Times, crucial details are still being determined, and the President has yet to formally approve and announce the deal.