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WhatsApp Launches Business Directory In Five Countries

Inspired by the yellow pages, WhatsApp is launching a business directory feature in Brazil, the UK, Indonesia, Mexico, and Colombia.

The new tool is supposed to help you find the WhatsApp contact of registered businesses, just like the yellow pages used to do before the popularity of the internet. You will be able to search by category or by name in a search bar, just like you find contacts.

The Meta-owned chat platform takes the contacts from users who are registered on its Business Platform. According to The Verge, the feature had been tested in Brazil’s capital city, São Paulo, in 2021, before this wider release.

“While millions of businesses in Brazil use [WhatsApp] for chat, we haven’t made it easy to discover businesses or buy from them, so people end up having to use work-arounds,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, announcing the feature. “The ultimate goal here is to make it so you can find, message and buy from a business all in the same WhatsApp chat.”

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Following its disappointing ad revenue from Facebook, Meta has been looking for means to improve its earning from other divisions while cutting costs through hiring freeze and lay offs. With more than 2 billion daily active users, it makes sense that the company is turning its attention to WhatsApp and converting it into a one-stop communication service for individuals and businesses.

Likely, the next step in its evolution is in-app payments, which would likely include transaction charges and more. Soon, WhatsApp could become much more than a chat service. It had faced some challenges with the government and central bank in Brazil when it attempted to rollout person-to-person payments in 2020 and 2021, but it claims to have found merchants to partner with to offer the feature in 2022.

WhatsApp has not said anything about when the yellow pages business directory feature would come to other countries.

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.