WhatsApp starts testing in-app business directory feature to help users find shops and services

The Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp has launched a new feature called the in-app business directory feature that enables users to shop and get services in it. WhatsApp conducted the test in Brazil’s São Paulo and it is the latest feature in Facebook’s drive to bolster e-commerce on its services.

The feature would allow WhatsApp users to search for services and shops through the in-app directory, reported the news agency Reuters.

Facebook’s vice president of business messaging, Matt Idema, said: “This could be the primary way that people start a commerce process in WhatsApp.” 

The apps like Facebook and Instagram have this feature of business services for its users but it was not permitted for WhatsApp and the app does not run any ads in it. Matt Idema said businesses were earlier limited to promoting their WhatsApp numbers through Facebook ads, websites, or packaging.

Unlike earlier, WhatsApp has moved to court business users and has a specialized app for small companies and an API for larger businesses. The CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg announced in June that the Shops feature would be expanded to WhatsApp in a few countries. Later WhatsApp itself has launched shopping carts and product catalogs in recent years.

The officials believe that countries like India and Indonesia are the best platform to process and expand this feature later in the future. Businesses such as retail, food, and local services will be included in the test which is being conducted in Brazil.