WhatsApp has announced updates to its Business Application Programming Interface (API) to ensure businesses can have a more meaningful interaction with their customers with support for more types of messages. The changes announced at Facebook’s annual F8 Refresh conference are geared towards medium and large businesses.

The changes are geared towards medium and large businesses. WhatsApp says they will be able to set up their solutions on the platform in just five minutes. While earlier, businesses were limited to sending timely notifications, now the company will add support for more types of messages. For example, a business will be able to reply to a customer when a particular item is back in stock.

WhatsApp says they have seen how periodic updates from health authorities about responding to the pandemic have been helpful and they wanted to make this kind of service available for more types of conversations.

It is also adding new messaging features such as a ‘list message’, which presents the customer with a menu of up to 10 options. This ensures customers will no longer need to type out a response. Further, reply buttons will allow users to quickly make a selection from up to three options with just a quick tap. The business can set this feature ahead of time through their WhatsApp Business API account.

WhatsApp says people still need to reach out to a business in order to have conversations with them on the platform. It is also adding new ways for people to give greater feedback about the experience they are having when chatting with a business account and if they have a reason to block the account.

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