WhatsApp trials in-app business directory

WhatsApp has launched a new feature that will enable users to search for businesses within the app, according to sources reported by Reuters.

The service is being initially rolled out in São Paulo, Brazil, and will include “thousands of businesses” in categories such as food, retail, and local services across the city.

Matt Idema, Facebook's vice president of business messaging said that India and Indonesia are likely candidates for the next stage of the roll-out.

Head of WhatsApp at Facebook Will Cathcart emphasised on Twitter that the company wouldn’t be sharing users’ data, “we’ve built this in a private way: we’re not logging your location or what businesses you browse.”

Though WhatsApp is most known for its consumer use case, the app said in October that over 175 million people internationally have used it to message a business account.

WhatsApp has been active in terms of releasing new features in recent months; in August, the app launched a new feature that enables users to send images or videos that disappear from a chat once opened.

Brazil has been a focus area for WhatsApp in terms of rolling out new services; in April, Brazil’s central bank Banco Central do Brasil (BCB) licensed the use of WhatsApp for initiating fund transfers.

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