Info-tech

WhatsApp begins testing in-app business directory

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on September 16, 2021

FILE PHOTO   -  REUTERS

Users can share a current location to look for businesses in the area

WhatsApp has started testing an in-app business directory feature. The WhatsApp business directory feature let’s users find relevant shops directly within the app. The test has been kicked off in São Paulo.

According to a FAQ posted by the platform, “The WhatsApp business directory is a fast, safe, and convenient way for WhatsApp users to find local shops, restaurants, and businesses without leaving WhatsApp.”

“I’m excited we’re starting to pilot a local business directory within @WhatsApp. This will help you find and contact local businesses, like your neighborhood coffee shop, florist, clothing store and more,” WhatsApp chief Will Cathcart said on Twitter.

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Once it is accessible to them, users can find businesses nearby. Users can share a current location to look for businesses in the area, select a specific location or search without a location to look for businesses within their region.

Users can also select a business category that they would like to explore. “You can filter your search even more by tapping a sub-category in the REFINE RESULTS section of the list,” WhatsApp explained in a FAQ.

Users can tap on the name of the business within the search results to view their business description. They can also chat with the business or view their business profile. The Facebook-owned messaging platform will not log the details of the user’s location and what businesses they were browsing, it said.

“Like everything we do at WhatsApp, we’ve built this in a private way: we’re not logging your location or what businesses you browse,” Cathcart said.

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The WhatsApp business directory is currently being tested. It is open to a selection of businesses in central São Paulo that sell goods and some local services, including food, retail, and education.

“Based on feedback from the people who try it over the next few months, we’ll look at expanding this service to other cities and other types of businesses available on WhatsApp,” Cathcart said.

Published on September 16, 2021

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