WhatsApp is developing a new feature that will allow users to search for nearby businesses right from the app. Users will see one area with sub-categories such as photographs, movies, and documents while looking for something on the app. A second part will display neighboring businesses such as restaurants, grocery stores, and other services on Business Directory.
The ‘Business Directory’ function was first reported by WABetaInfo when it was made available to select users in So Paulo, Brazil, and is expected to be made available to more users in other locations in the near future. Users will benefit from the functionality because it will allow them to search for local companies and then contact them directly through the app. In the supported region, this feature is also said to be available for iOS devices.
The feature is most likely intended to make buying more convenient through WhatsApp, which already has its own payment interface via UPI in some places, such as India. Users will be able to search for nearby stores, restaurants, and other companies, communicate with their separate WhatsApp Business accounts, select from a catalog of items and services, and pay directly from the app, all without ever leaving WhatsApp.
In Pakistan, the feature is presently unavailable, and we have no estimate for when it will be available. However, in early 2022, more information on planned additions, such as the new Business Directory feature, should be available. Users will be able to search for nearby businesses directly from the WhatsApp app in the near future.