WhatsApp to Start Testing a Yellow Pages-Style Business Directory

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WhatsApp to Start Testing a Yellow Pages-Style Business Directory – WhatsApp has begun a new business directory feature on its app, reports Will Cathcart. This new business feature will kick start in Sao Paulo, Brazil and it will let users find and access local shops and services that have got a presence on the app.

WhatsApp to Start Testing a Yellow Pages-Style Business Directory

Screenshots shared online showed how the app will show various businesses sorted out by categories like restaurants and grocery stores just before allowing users to contact them directly via chat. According to Reuters, the test will begin will thousands on businesses in the city of Sao Paulo Brazil.

WhatsApp to Start Testing a Yellow Pages-Style Business Directory

If you are current with happenings on the web and mostly with WhatsApp, you will notice that the app has made e-commerce one of its priorities in recent years. Normally the app is known as a person-to-person chat tool. October last year, the app reported that over 175 million people worldwide messaged a business account on the platform every day.

Since 2018, WhatsApp has been pushing for a standalone app for small businesses. And the app since then has added more business-oriented features like support for shopping carts and product catalogs. The app started to offer in-app payments in India and Brazil enabling users to involve in direct purchases from businesses and also sending and receiving money from friends and family.

However, the push for eCommerce created problematic issues for the app early this year as at the time it updated its privacy policy. The changes or updates made to its privacy policy were interpreted by users as giving the app the ability to share personal data from chats with parent company Facebook. However, the changes to the privacy policy were only applicable to chats with businesses. And this may see data stored on Facebook servers. The policy updated as at then made the headlines for all the wrong reasons and in the process making the apps competitors, telegram and signal gaining a whole lot of new users.

Where Will the Business Directory Feature Start

WhatsApp will not be logging or accessing user’s locations or which businesses they go through when they start to use the new business directory feature, reports Cathcart. And as well as having a small business-focused app, the platform has a business API to help larger businesses connect with customers. The WhatsApp Business API is well known for being one of the few ways WhatsApp can be monetized directly as it does not show ads like Facebook and Instagram.

You should also know that WhatsApp withdrew from its decision to show in-app ads last year. Although with the latter being said, Matt Idema, Facebook’s vice president of business messaging told Reuters that he expects ads to be part of the app’s business model in one form or another in the long run.

As at this moment, Brazil is the pilot location for this pilot program and WhatsApp feature. India and Indonesia are among candidates for future expansion report Idema.

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