Facebook is planning to introduce a lot on the business-related features to WhatsApp as the company is exploring various ways of monetizing billions of users on the instant messaging platform.
In the latest update, the company has now started testing a new in-app business directory feature. As the name indicates, it’s basically a business directory that will allow users to find shops and services through the app.
Currently, the feature is undergoing the testing phase in São Paulo, Brazil. The test would include thousands of businesses in categories like food, retail, and local services across certain São Paulo neighborhoods. The company is looking to soon expand the feature to users in India and Indonesia.
Users can tap on ‘Businesses Nearby’ in the WhatsApp contact listing, which will then show a listing of active local business profiles. From there, users will be able to tap through and view the business’ full profile, along with products and other contact information.
This feature is yet another one from Facebook to make the e-commerce system on WhatsApp stronger as the social media giant is working hard to convert the messaging platform into an e-commerce juggernaut. WhatsApp has already launched shopping tools like product catalogs and shopping carts.
Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014 in a deal worth $19 billion but the platform didn’t have a model to monetize its millions of daily active users. The company is now looking at different ways to generate revenue but hasn’t ruled out in-app advertisements.