Facebook has announced it has invested $5.7 billion in Jio Platforms, part of the wider portfolio of the Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries. According to a blog post by the social media, the major reason behind the deal that made Facebook the largest minority shareholder is to combine JioMart and WhatsApp powers to “enable people to connect with businesses, shop and ultimately purchase products in a seamless mobile experience”.

Facebook shared this image of a family, using WhatsApp to reach new customers for its textile business

Having an IM platform go beyond its chat capabilities is no news in the mobile world. The Chinese giant Tencent is the owner of WeChat – a massive platform that allows over a billion users to communicate, purchase online or even make offline payments.

Facebook investing in the Indian market is no surprise – WhatsApp currently has over 400 million users in the country. David Fischer, Chief Revenue Officer, and Ajit Mohan, VP and Managing Director in India, revealed some numbers – in less than four years, Jio has brought more than 388 million people online, and in just the past five years over half a billion of people have gained access to internet.

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