Facebook said at its virtual developer conference “F8 Refresh” on Wednesday that it is paving the way for companies to interact with customers on Instagram and WhatsApp.

The world’s largest social network said it is launching tools so that developers can build a way for companies to send messages to customers on Facebook’s Instagram. Facebook stated that 90% of Instagram users follow at least one business.

Facebook said its messaging app WhatsApp will support more types of messages, such as allowing companies to send reminders when goods are in stock. It is also testing a separate way for people to choose to communicate with the enterprise through the “login to connect” feature.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said after the company’s latest financial report that Facebook is focusing on expanding e-commerce, building augmented reality and virtual reality, and helping creators make money on its platform.

After WhatsApp updated its privacy policy and expanded its commercial messaging tools, it has faced backlash in recent months, which confuses many users who worry that this means their data will be shared with Facebook.

At a meeting held online after it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year, Facebook also announced plans to launch new tools that allow researchers to analyze its data across public pages, groups, and events.

After the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, the company has been working to resolve data privacy and transparency issues, and said that the new tool will be launched later this year.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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