Facebook’s messaging service, WhatsApp has unveiled a new feature that enables user search for businesses within its app for the first time.
This new feature that allows users to find shops and services through a directory in the app is the latest feature in Facebook’s drive to bolster ecommerce on its services.
Speaking about this, Facebook’s vice president Matt Idema said the new feature which is being tested in São Paulo, Brazil could be the primary way that people start a commerce process in WhatsApp.
He added that “There’s definitely a route on ads, which is Facebook’s core business model, that over the long term I think in some form or another will be part of the business model for WhatsApp”.
WhatsApp said the new test would include thousands of businesses in categories like food, retail and local services across certain São Paulo neighborhoods.
Online retail has continued to boom during the COVID-19 pandemic, Facebook has pushed in-app shopping features across its apps.
In June, Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s Shops feature would expand to WhatsApp in several countries. In recent years, WhatsApp also has also launched shopping tools like product catalogs and shopping carts.