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WhatsApp launches Flows, letting customers order meals and book tickets without leaving the app

By Liu Hongzuo - on 20 Sep 2023, 1:45pm

WhatsApp launches Flows, letting customers order meals and book tickets without leaving the app

An example of how Flows work on WhatsApp, for both users and businesses.

WhatsApp announced Flows today (20 September 2023), a new feature for businesses and those who use them. The feature was announced via a live online keynote hosted by Meta.

Without having to leave WhatsApp, a business using Flows can offer a variety of customisable forms to its customers trying to complete a purchasing journey.

Example of a hair salon using Flows, and a customer making an appointment entirely on WhatsApp.

For example, a restaurant can host their food menu on WhatsApp, and users can order through that menu in the app. The same can be done for food deliveries if the business wants to.

Similarly, businesses can allow bookings for tickets, seats, and appointments or sell their groceries and consumer tech gadgets. Flows even come complete with a payments portal built within WhatsApp (based on Meta’s screenshots).

“There are a lot of possibilities here, and businesses can easily leverage the building blocks that we've created to build their own unique experiences. Now, for customers, this will be much faster and more convenient than having to jump between apps or websites,” said Muck Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Meta.

Meta Verified unlocks a whole bunch of perks for businesses to be more efficient over WhatsApp.

Businesses using Flows on the WhatsApp Business Platform must first become Meta Verified. They simply need to demonstrate their authenticity to Meta and get a verified budget, enhanced account support, and impersonation protection. 

Other premium features for Meta Verified businesses include creating a custom WhatsApp page that search engines can find, and the ability to run the business account on multiple devices so that employees can help out too.

Flows for Whatsapp Business Platform will be rolling out “in the coming weeks”, said Meta. The service was launched first in India.

Another example of Flows, this time with a customer booking a flight entirely via WhatsApp.

WhatsApp has been aggressively expanding its useability in a bid to stay relevant. It recently adopted a private broadcast feature, ramped up videos and photos sent between users to HD quality, and included screen-sharing options.

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