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WhatsApp launches new feature to aid e-commerce uptake by users

By our News Team | 2021

Users can search for local businesses within the app for the first time, as Facebook looks to further monetise its investment.

Facebook’s Vice President, Matt Idema, recently noted that “There’s definitely a route on ads, which is Facebook’s core business model. Over the long term I think in some form or another [ads] will be part of the business model for WhatsApp [too]”.

Whatsapp e-commerce

Image by HeikoAL from Pixabay

Facebook owns WhatsApp, along with Instagram.

Now there’s a new feature on WhatsApp that allows users to find shops and services through a directory in the app. It is the latest strategy in Facebook’s drive to bolster e-commerce on its services.

Idema said the new feature, which is being tested in the Brazilian city of São Paulo, could be the primary way that people start a commerce process in WhatsApp.

Thousands of business categories

According to WhatsApp, the new test feature is to include thousands of businesses in categories like food, retail and local services across certain São Paulo neighbourhoods.

Online retail has continued to boom during the Covid-19 pandemic, encouraging Facebook to push in-app shopping features.

In June, founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook’s Shops feature would expand to WhatsApp in several countries. In recent years, WhatsApp has also launched shopping tools like product catalogues and shopping carts.

WhatsApp Messenger, or simply WhatsApp, is an American freeware, cross-platform centralised instant messaging and voice-over-IP service owned by Facebook Inc. It allows users to send text messages and voice messages, make voice and video calls, and share images, documents, user locations and other content.

Source: Marketing Edge, Nigeria

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