Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced a new update that will enable WhatsApp users to search for businesses — by category or name — directly in their WhatsApp UI.
Meta, previously known as Facebook, bought WhatsApp in 2014. At the WhatsApp Business Summit in Brazil on Thursday, Zuckerberg said the ultimate goal was to enable users to find, message, and buy from a business all in the same WhatsApp chat.
The new Business Search feature will be available in Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, and the UK.
These new features are introduced to offer users a convenient way to quickly get assistance from the millions of small businesses and tens of thousands of brands already on WhatsApp.
According to a blog post, one of the features is ‘Find a Business’ in which one can find a larger brand on WhatsApp using its Application Programming Interface (API) and discover a local merchant (SMB) on WhatsApp.
However, this is available only in Brazil.
Another feature is ‘Buy’ where one can pay a local merchant directly on WhatsApp.
This feature is currently being tested in Brazil and is expected to be expanded to other markets as well.
The official announcement blogpost also said once people find a business they want to chat with, they can ask product questions, browse their catalogue of goods and services and add items to a cart so the business knows what they want to buy.