Nearly a million businesses in the UK and around the world can now set up a single online store to sell products, with no fee, on Facebook and Instagram.

The initial phase of the Facebook Shops rollout has been brought forward and extended because of coronavirus.

The store will appear on business pages, Instagram profiles and through targeted ads.

The company has already used a no-fees approach in its Facebook Marketplace for persona; classifieds.

Facebook’s Layla Amjad said: “It’s bigger than usual just because we want to make sure we’re moving quickly to get these tools in the hands of as many businesses wherever they are, big or small, to help them survive during these times”.

Products Manager, George Lee said that it had been in the pipelines for at least half a year.

He said: “Obviously, given the current situation, we have accelerated a lot of our efforts.

“We are in a unique position to be able to contribute to the survival of a bunch of these businesses”.

The shopping feature will also eventually appear on WhatsApp and the company’s other messaging apps and integrate with live streams.

For the average Facebook user, “this will be a really seamless experience”, Miss Amjadi said.

“You can go much deeper now without leaving the app”.

Once a buyer decides they want to spend money, they will usually be diected to the company’s webpage to complete the transaction.

And if problems arise or a buyer wants to ask questions, they can do so through Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or Instagram Direct messager, some of which are already used by companies for that purpose.

The rollout is part of a wider range of changes planned for shopping across Facebook’s products.