WhatsApp has introduced new Yellow Pages-like features that allow users to find businesses within its instant messaging app. This is part of Meta’s ongoing efforts to expand its reach with e-commerce.
The encrypted messaging service is used by more than 2 billion people worldwide. On Thursday, the company announced that it would expand a ” Directory ” feature to all users in Brazil’s key market to allow them to browse and find small businesses within their local area. After last year’s testing of the directory feature in Sao Paulo, WhatsApp will roll out nationwide.
WhatsApp will also allow users to search for larger businesses within the app. A spokesperson for TechCrunch said that the feature is being introduced in multiple markets (Brazil and Colombia, Mexico, Indonesia, Mexico, and Mexico). It will allow users to search businesses by category, such as food, drink, and travel, as well as their names.
The “Business Search” feature saves individuals time searching for business phone numbers from websites.
These new features are part of WhatsApp’s ongoing efforts to make the messaging app a commerce engine. This is one of its largest bets to generate revenue through its otherwise free service. The company’s quarterly earnings revealed that click-to-WhatsApp ads had increased by 80% over the previous year and were on track for $1.5 billion in annual revenue.
Mark Zuckerberg, Meta CEO, stated, “We want it to be easier for people to get more done with WhatsApp.” It’s about creating better ways for businesses to interact with them. While millions of Brazilian businesses use WhatsApp for messaging, it has yet to make it easy to find businesses or purchase from them. So people have to resort to workarounds. This WhatsApp chat is designed to allow you to message, buy and find a company in one conversation.
Brazil is the largest nation in Latin America and a major market for WhatsApp. WhatsApp, which has more than 120 million users in Brazil, has chosen South America to test several new business offerings.
Last year, it launched a payment-to-merchant feature in Brazil. This was briefly a first for WhatsApp. However, the local central bank removed the functionality shortly after, which stated that sufficient risk and regulatory testing had to be done first.
Brazil’s monetary authorities stated at the time that their decision would preserve a competitive environment that allows for the operation of a payment system that is interchangeable, fast, and secure.
The encrypted messaging platform received approval last year to allow peer-to-peer payment in the country. However, it said it is still awaiting regulatory clearance on merchant payments. Nevertheless, it is continuing the development of its platform.
International payments giant Cielo and multinational Fiserv developed the technical integration with WhatsApp. According to the Meta-owned unit, many of these participants are currently participating in production testing.
Zuckerberg stated that if you own a Brazilian business, people can find you, contact and buy from you in one WhatsApp chat. We’re also working to make this experience available to other countries in the future. “This is the next step in business messaging, and he looks forward to hearing about the opportunities it unlocks for you all.”