WhatsApp doubles down on business searches within the app itself

(Image credit: Whatsapp)

In a big thrust into e-commerce and business, WhatsApp is rolling out a feature to let users search for nearby businesses, right within the app. The feature, when it becomes fully mainstream, will help the messaging platform to make an impact in one area where it has not made much headway - business & commerce segment. 

According to the ever reliable team at WABetainfo, WhatsApp had made available a nifty business directory to users in Sao Paulo a couple of months back. And the new search option for nearby businesses is an extension of that. "When you search for something within WhatsApp, there will be a new section called “Businesses Nearby”: when you select the category, the results of business accounts will be filtered based on your choice," the report said.

Businesses will be happy with the putative feature as it will allow them to become more visible, directly from inside WhatsApp.

Business directory may come first

The new business search option within WA

The new business nearby search options within WA.  (Image credit: WABetainfo)

So, soon you can basically search for things like hotels, eateries, groceries or clothing, without leaving the app. This useful tool will be available to both iOS and Android users.  

This feature has been made available to some users in Sao Paulo but is not available yet for all. But it is likely that WhatsApp will first roll out the aforesaid business directory feature and then follow it up with the search tool. But it is something that would be worth the wait.

Once users are allowed to search for products and services nearby it will be only a matter of time before they can place orders for the same.

It is clear that the folks at WhatsApp are doubling down on business and commerce segment for future growth of the platform.  WhatsApp recently introduced a redesigned page for Business Info.

WhatsApp is also planning to redesign the page for Contact Info, in that it will have a search shortcut.

In-app shopping possibilities have grown across the social media platform’s apps. WhatsApp now also features shopping tools including product catalogs and shopping cart options for businesses to use.

Meta has announced new shopping and discovery tools, including Shops on WhatsApp.

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Balakumar K
Senior Editor

Over three decades as a journalist covering current affairs, politics, sports and now technology. Former Editor of News Today, writer of humour columns across publications and a hardcore cricket and cinema enthusiast. He writes about technology trends and suggest movies and shows to watch on OTT platforms.