WhatsApp is testing a yellow pages-style business guide
WhatsApp is testing a yellow pages-style business guide

Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp messaging service, has announced that it is testing a new business catalog in Sao Paulo, Brazil that will allow users to find local businesses and services through the app.

The screenshot shows how the platform shows businesses sorted into categories such as "grocery" and "restaurant" and then allows users to chat with them directly. Reuters reported that the test included thousands of companies in the city.

Although Facebook's messaging service is known as a personal messaging service, e-commerce has become increasingly important in recent years.

Last October, the platform reported that more than 175 million people around the world use the service daily to send messages to their merchant accounts.

Since 2018, the platform has offered a standalone app for businesses and small businesses. Since then, features such as support for product lists and shopping carts have been added.

Integrated payments began to be introduced in Brazil and India. This allows users to shop directly from the company and send money to friends and family.

But earlier this year, those pressures on e-commerce created problems for the platform. At this point, she has updated her privacy policy.

These changes are widely interpreted as allowing WhatsApp to share personal chat data between people and Facebook. While these changes will be applied to the company's conversations, you will be able to see the data stored on Facebook's servers.

WhatsApp is testing a yellow pages-style business guide

The new policy has caused problems, and competitors WhatsApp Telegram and Signal have reported an increase in the number of new users.

Cathcart said the platform does not log the location of users or businesses they browse when using the new directory function.

In addition to the WhatsApp Small Business app, the platform also provides the WhatsApp Business API to connect large businesses with customers.

It is worth noting that this is one of the few ways to monetize WhatsApp directly. This is because they do not currently run ads like Facebook and Instagram.

Although the platform abandoned its recent plans to display ads on the app last year. Facebook's vice president told Reuters he expects advertising to become more or less part of the platform's long-term business model.

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