Facebook has accelerated and extended the launch of its shopping platform because of coronavirus.
The social media conglomerate will allow businesses to set up online stores and sell products across Facebook and Instagram on a no-fee basis. These stores will appear on business pages, Instagram pages and through targeted ads across both platforms.
Shoppers will be able to browse products, message sellers directly through Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger or Instagram to arrange a purchase or get more information, and in some cases buy items in-app using the recently launched checkout feature in the US.
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg told the Financial Times it had accelerated the launch of its shopping capabilities, which have been in developed for the last six months, in order to help businesses that were struggling during the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
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