WhatsApp launched a new feature on Wednesday that allows users to search for businesses within the app for the first time, according to Reuters and The Verge.
The feature will allow users in São Paulo, Brazil, to find shops and services through an app directory which is going to boost e-commerce on its services.
“We’re building a modern-day Yellow Pages into WhatsApp where you can look up and contact local businesses right inside the app. Launching in São Paulo today, and hopefully more places soon,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted on his Facebook Page.
Thousands of businesses in categories such as food, retail, and local services will be included in the new test that will take place in certain So Paulo neighbourhoods, Reuters reported.
Despite the fact that the Facebook-owned messaging service is best known for its person-to-person messaging, e-commerce has become a more important part of its offering in recent years.
Notably, over 175 million people used the service every day to message a WhatsApp business account as of last October.
WhatsApp has had a standalone app for small businesses since 2018 which has been updated to include features such as product catalogues and shopping carts.
Moreover, it has begun to offer in-app payments in Brazil and India, allowing users to make purchases directly from businesses as well as send money to friends and family.