WhatsApp is testing local business directories to help customers find shops, cafes and more

WhatsApp has become more than just a messaging app in recent years. It has 2.5 billion active users worldwide, it’s the primary messaging app for many users, and it’s even partially a payment app in some places. In some places, this is the most efficient and easiest way to contact a business. Now the company is testing adding local business directories to help customers find stores, cafes and more.

The test is currently underway in São Paulo, Brazil, home to millions of small businesses. In an interview with Reuters, Matt Idema, vice president of business messaging at Facebook, said India and Indonesia are likely good candidates to expand the feature. Same said Reuters that in the past, companies promoted their WhatsApp numbers on packaging or websites or used Facebook ads to get users to chat on WhatsApp.

WhatsApp also said it won’t store people’s locations or their search results. Given that the company was recently criticized by the Irish Data Protection Commission and fined €225 million, it’s possible that it wants to play as safe as possible with user data to the moment.

In the same interview, Idema said WhatsApp still plans to add ads to the app. “There’s definitely a route on ads, which is Facebook’s core business model, which I think in the long term, in one form or another, will be part of WhatsApp’s business model,” he said. he declares. According to WhatsApp, around one million advertisers currently use Facebook and Instagram’s “click to WhatsApp” ads to direct users to the messaging app. WhatsApp has shopping tools such as product catalogs and shopping carts that consumers use to buy from businesses on WhatsApp.

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