Facebook-owned WhatsApp has started testing a new in-app business directory feature to let users find local shops and services on the app in Brazil.

According to GizmoChina, currently, the feature is undergoing the testing phase in Sao Paulo in Brazil and the company is looking to soon expand the feature to users in India and Indonesia.

The test would include thousands of businesses in categories like food, retail and local services across certain Sao Paulo neighbourhoods.

Users can tap on ‘Businesses Nearby’ in the WhatsApp contact listing, which will then show a listing of active local business profiles. From there, users will be able to tap through and view the business’ full profile, along with products and other contact information, the report said.

This feature is yet another one from Facebook to make the e-commerce system on WhatsApp stronger as the social media giant is working hard to convert the messaging platform into an e-commerce juggernaut.

WhatsApp has already launched shopping tools like product catalogs and shopping carts, according to the report.

Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014 in a deal worth $19 billion but the platform did not have a model to monetise its millions of daily active users. The company is now looking at different ways to generate revenue but has not ruled out in-app advertisements.

–IANS

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