WhatsApp starts testing a yellow pages-style business directory
WhatsApp is testing a new business directory in São Paulo, Brazil, which allows users to find local stores and services with a presence in the application, announced the director of the service, Will Cathcart.
WhatsApp is testing a new business directory in São Paulo, Brazil, which allows users to find local stores and services with a presence in the application, announced the director of the service, Will Cathcart. The screenshots show how WhatsApp will display businesses sorted by categories like "grocery store" and "restaurant", before allowing users to chat directly with them. Reuters reports that the test will include thousands of businesses in the city.
Although the Facebook-owned messaging service is more famous as a person-to-person messaging service, e-commerce has become an increasingly important part of its offering in recent years. Until last October, WhatsApp reported that more than 175 million people around the world used the service to send messages to a WhatsApp business account every day.
WhatsApp has offered a standalone small business app since 2018 and has since added features like product catalogue and shopping cart support. In Brazil and India, it also started offering in-app payments, allowing users to make purchases directly from businesses, as well as sending money to friends and family.
Although the pilot is limited to one city in Brazil, for now, Idema said that India and Indonesia were among the candidates for expansion in the future.