Even as WhatsApp is facing the heat in India over its controversial privacy policy, it got a host of new features to make it easier for businesses to get started on its platform. These updates include are primarily aimed at making the consumer-business interaction much more intuitive and smooth.

With over 2 billion users across the globe, the number of 175 million users with WhatsApp Business accounts seems lacking. As part of its continued efforts to develop monetization tools for WhatsApp, the updates to WhatsApp Business API will aid in expanding that amount. This comes after Facebook had announced that businesses could use the Messenger API to interact with users on Instagram.

“Whether a business wants to work with a business solution provider or get support directly from Facebook in the future, these improvements will make it easier for more medium and large businesses to have customer conversations on WhatsApp,” WhatsApp said in a statement.

The new updates have decreased the time it takes for a business to start running on WhatsApp from weeks to a mere five minutes. Making a business account on the platform has been made much faster.

The new messaging features will aid in easing communication between people and businesses, and help WhatsApp attract new businesses and bring them closer to their potential customers. New list messages will now present a menu of up to 10 pre-written messages so that people do not need to type a response. Additionally, the reply buttons will allow people to quickly make a selection from up to three options with just a quick tap so that a business can set ahead of time through their WhatsApp Business API account. However, people still need to reach out to initiate a conversation with businesses.

Businesses can now follow up with customers beyond the 24-hour window, something that was difficult earlier. The app will now support more types of messages.

“With these updates, we’re also providing new ways for people to give greater feedback about the experience they are having if they have a reason to block a business,’ WhatsApp said.

Harsha Solanki, MD Infobip India said, “We have seen a great uptake in the number of businesses wanting to communicate with their customers through WhatsApp API. There have been several businesses that have seen a clear uplift in their user engagement and click-through rates through the WhatsApp solution. This new update will make it easier for businesses of all sizes to consider WhatsApp API for their customer engagement journey.”

“We are excited that with the new easy on-boarding, more businesses will be able to benefit and find an efficient way to interact with their customers,” said Ravi Sundararajan, COO of conversational messaging platform Gupshup.

These updates will further Facebook’s goal to turn WhatsApp into a proper business platform in the world’s second-largest internet market, where WhatsApp has over 459 million users.