WhatsApp launched a feature on Wednesday which would allow users to search for businesses within the app. According to Will Cathcart, service lead at WhatsApp, the rollout will begin with a test in São Paulo, Brazil. He shared images of how WhatsApp will organize businesses in the directory into categories such as “restaurant” and “automotive service”.
Reuters said the test would include thousands of businesses in São Paulo and would bolster ecommerce on WhatsApp’s services by allowing users to find and contact businesses through the in-app directory.
WhatsApp, unlike Facebook and Instagram, does not feature in-app advertisements. According to Matt Idema, Vice President of business messaging at Facebook, companies previously promoted their WhatsApp details on packaging and websites or used Facebook ads to bring potential customers into WhatsApp chats.
The Facebook-owned messaging platform currently offers an app for small businesses and a specialised software interface for larger organisations to link their systems.
I’m excited we’re starting to pilot a local business directory within @WhatsApp. This will help you find and contact local businesses, like your neighborhood coffee shop, florist, clothing store and more.https://t.co/kNvUtn7FWR
— Will Cathcart (@wcathcart) September 15, 2021
WhatsApp indicated to Reuters that the new directory feature would not allow the company to know or store user data relating to location, searches, or results.
This comes after the company faced criticism over privacy updates and breaches, which ultimately landed WhatsApp a R4 billion fine. Idema indicated that India and Indonesia are ideal next candidates to expand the feature further.
In other news – Master KG dragged after posting the price tag for his new jacket
Master KG has received some backlash after he posted the price tag of a new jacket he purchased at a Sandton store. The DJ works very hard for his coins so a few expensive purchases will not hurt his deep pockets.
But fans wish he could do something more useful with that money. Learn more