• Home
  • Apps
  • Apps News
  • WhatsApp Testing In App Business Directory to Help Users Find Shops, Services

WhatsApp Testing In-App Business Directory to Help Users Find Shops, Services

WhatsApp is currently testing the feature in São Paulo, Brazil.

WhatsApp Testing In-App Business Directory to Help Users Find Shops, Services

WhatsApp said new test would include thousands of businesses in categories like food and local services

Highlights
  • WhatsApp has increasingly courted business users
  • Facebook has pushed in-app shopping features across its apps
  • Zuckerberg announced Facebook's Shops feature would expand to WhatsApp

Facebook's messaging service WhatsApp on Wednesday launched a new feature to make it possible to search for businesses within its app for the first time, the company told Reuters.

The test in São Paulo, Brazil, which allows WhatsApp users to find shops and services through a directory in the app, is the latest feature in Facebook's drive to bolster ecommerce on its services.

"This could be ... the primary way that people start a commerce process in WhatsApp," Matt Idema, Facebook's vice president of business messaging, said in an interview this week.

WhatsApp, unlike Facebook and Instagram, does not run advertisements in its app. Idema said previously businesses were promoting their WhatsApp numbers on packaging or websites or using Facebook advertisements to bring users into chats on WhatsApp.

The messaging service has increasingly courted business users, with a specialised app for small firms and an API, or type of software interface, for larger businesses to connect their systems, which generates revenue.

As online retail has continued to boom during the COVID-19 pandemic, Facebook has pushed in-app shopping features across its apps. In June, Zuckerberg announced Facebook's Shops feature would expand to WhatsApp in several countries. In recent years, WhatsApp also has also launched shopping tools like product catalogues and shopping carts.

WhatsApp said the new test would include thousands of businesses in categories like food, retail, and local services across certain São Paulo neighborhoods. Idema said India and Indonesia were good next candidates to expand the feature.

The company, which has faced user backlash amid confusion over privacy updates and was fined by the Irish data protection regulator over privacy breaches, said it will not know or store the location of people's search or results through the new directory feature.

Idema did not rule out the possibility that WhatsApp could introduce in-app ads in the future.

"There's definitely a route on ads, which is Facebook's core business model, that over the long term I think in some form or another will be part of the business model for WhatsApp," he said. WhatsApp says about one million advertisers currently use Facebook and Instagram's 'click to WhatsApp' ads to send users to the messaging app.

Idema said WhatsApp, which Facebook bought for $19 billion (roughly Rs. 1,39,700 crores) in a landmark 2014 deal but which has been slow to monetise its features, was also excited about non-ad models like building software to help businesses to manage their services across Facebook's apps.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


This week on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, we discuss iPhone 13 leaks and what we expect from the Apple event. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
Comments

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Further reading: WhatsApp, Facebook
PlayStation 5 September Update Brings SSD Expansion, 3D Audio Support for TVs, More
5G Auctions Most Probably in February 2022, May Even Try for January: Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw

Related Stories

Share on Facebook Tweet Snapchat Share Reddit Comment
 
 

Advertisement

Advertisement

© Copyright Red Pixels Ventures Limited 2021. All rights reserved.
Listen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com