Facebook’s messaging service WhatsApp on Wednesday launched a new feature to make it conceivable to look for businesses within its application for the first time, the organization told Reuters.

The test in São Paulo, Brazil, which permits WhatsApp clients to discover shops and services through a directory in the application, is the most recent feature in Facebook’s drive to support ecommerce on its services.

“This could be … the primary way that people start a commerce process in WhatsApp,” Matt Idema, Facebook’s vice president of business messaging, said in an interview this week.

WhatsApp, in contrast to Facebook and Instagram, doesn’t run ads in its application. Idema said already organizations were promoting their WhatsApp numbers on packaging or websites or using Facebook advertisements to bring clients into chats on WhatsApp.

The messaging service has progressively pursued business clients, with a specialized application for small firms and an API, or type of software interface, for bigger businesses to connect their systems, which produces revenue.

As online retail has kept on blasting during the COVID-19 pandemic, Facebook has pushed in-app shopping features across its applications. In June, Zuckerberg reported Facebook’s Shops feature would grow to WhatsApp in a few countries. In recent years, WhatsApp additionally has likewise launched shopping tools like product catalogs and shopping carts.

WhatsApp said the new test would include a huge number of businesses in categories like food, retail and local services across certain São Paulo neighborhoods. Idema said India and Indonesia were good next candidates to grow the feature.

The organization, which has faced user backlash amid confusion in the midst of confusion over privacy updates and was fined by the Irish data protection regulator over privacy breaches, said it won’t know or store the location of individuals’ search or results through the new directory feature.

Idema didn’t preclude the likelihood that WhatsApp could present in-app ads later on.

“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,” he said. WhatsApp says about one million advertisers currently use Facebook and Instagram’s ‘click to WhatsApp’ ads to send users to the messaging app.

Idema said WhatsApp, which Facebook purchased for $19 billion in a landmark 2014 deal however which has been delayed to adapt its features, was additionally amped up for non-ad models like building software to assist businesses with dealing with their services across Facebook’s applications.

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Funds Spectrum journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.

By Natalia Forrest

Natalia Forrest is a singer/songwriter and guitarist. She is also a fantasy author. She is noted for her distinctive style. She writes humorously: Her characters never walk, they clump along, or when someone complains (in a flying machine) that flight is impossible, the other characters agree and show her why she's right! What’s more, she works as a freelance author on Funds Spectrum.