With a new eCommerce feature for WhatsApp, Meta is putting its $6 billion ownership in Indian internet provider Reliance Jio to good use.
These screenshots should give you a good idea of what JioMart looks like and how it will help Meta extend its eCommerce efforts in the world’s second most populous nation.
This Is What Meta Has to Say About It:
Even if you’ve never shopped online before, JioMart on WhatsApp will make it easy to peruse JioMart’s extensive selection of groceries in India. Customers may now shop and pay for their purchases without ever leaving the comfort of their WhatsApp conversation. It’s a big deal for India, Meta’s largest user market, and for the company’s long-term goals in e-commerce.
Indeed, 487 million people in India use WhatsApp every month, and with such a large user base, Meta has been pushing to make WhatsApp the key program for connectivity in the region, much like how Chinese messaging apps have become important utilities in mainland China. However, not all Indian users or government officials put a lot of faith in Meta.
In its initial foray into the Indian market, Meta launched a program called “Free Basics” with the intention of increasing the number of people in that country who have access to the internet. However, it was an internet dominated by Meta, and the Indian government finally shut it down out of concern for Meta’s financial motives, forcing Meta to seek alternatives.
While WhatsApp and Instagram have also seen significant growth after TikTok’s withdrawal from the market, Facebook — and by extension Meta — remain unpopular among many residents.
That’s Why Linking This with Jio from Reliance Makes Sense
In 2020, Meta made its highest single investment of $5.7 billion and purchased a 9.99% interest in Jio Platforms, one of the key telecom networks in India. Since Reliance Jio serves more than 420 million customers, Meta will look to leverage Jio’s local reputation and visibility to promote its e-commerce initiative. So, it’s not called “MetaMart” or “Facebook Shops,” but JioMart.
JioMart has been active on WhatsApp since 2020, providing additional services for e-commerce businesses such as shipment monitoring. Meta has spent years planning and constructing, and this next phase could prove pivotal for the company’s future.
If Indian WhatsApp users begin making purchases there. The signs point to this being a significant potential, but, once again, skepticism about Meta exists, which may slow adoption and reduce use.
In any case, this represents a major milestone in Meta’s long-running effort to break into the Indian market. Though there are still many obstacles to overcome, Meta has enormous potential benefits if it can successfully implement its tools into Indian society.