Meta has added new business directory features to WhatsApp for users in Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Colombia and the UK.
Users using the encrypted messaging service will now be able to browse businesses by category – travel or banking, for example – or search by name to find them. And it will potentially save people from having to look up phone numbers on websites or search through their contact list.
In Brazil, the business directory search feature also lists small businesses as well as testing secure chat payments in the region.
What’s next for Whatsapp?
The news comes as Meta may be trying to squeeze more revenue out of the 175 million people it says use its WhatsApp business account daily as ad revenue from major Facebook and Instagram companies declines.
Facebook announced its first-ever drop in user count in February 2022, and in October 2022 it saw a 4% year-on-year drop in revenue over the three months from July to September.
The tech giant began testing the payment service in Brazil in 2020, but struggled to get approval from the Brazilian central bank along with the partners necessary to launch it.
In April, WhatsApp received approval from WhatsApp to expand its payment service to an additional 100 million users in the Indian market out of over 400 million people using the service in India.
We may be seeing closer convergence between WhatsApp and the business world. At Dreamforce 2022, Salesforce claimed it would provide businesses with a new way to communicate with customers via WhatsApp integration with many Salesforce CRM apps.
Salesforce claimed the integration would create more “convenient, integrated, and personalized experiences between people and businesses.”