WhatsApp has rolled out a new search feature that allows users to find businesses through the instant messaging app. The feature is available in select Latin American and European territories through the WhatsApp Business Platform.
What is this announcement and is it a material benefit for Whatsapp users and for the those in Meta ecosystem all around the world?
The company is looking to expand utilization by providing compelling services to its broad userbase around the world and this announcement and services can be a step in the right direction. Here is what you need to know about the WhatApp announcement.
The Whatsapp Announcement
According to an announcement by Will Cathcart, the head of WhatsApp, the WhatsApp business search feature will be unveiled in Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Mexico, and the U.K.
The feature is integrated into the WhatsApp application in these categories. However, it does not have its dedicated placement or tab as of yet. Instead, you need to go to the New Chat option, which usually shows you the contacts in your phone that you can start a chat with.
On this screen, you can select “Businesses” from the new Discover option. Afterwards, you can either search by business name or browse for businesses through categories such as Shopping, Food & Drink, and Arts & Entertainment.
From there, you can choose the business that you want to contact and initiate a WhatsApp chat right away. This gives you an easy way to locate businesses in your area without knowing their actual contact number.
In Brazil, you can also use the map feature to locate businesses that are located in your immediate vicinity. This makes it easier for you to find restaurants and other businesses that are nearby and more convenient to utilize.
In many ways, the WhatsApp business search feature is an extension of how these searches work on Facebook. But the integration of the feature still leaves a lot to be desired. Since the option is not available through a dedicated main menu item or tab, locating it through the New Chat option seems like a hassle.
In many cases, users may not even know that the feature is available, let alone use it all on their own. With that being said, the feature is still in early development and might get more updates as it is made available in more territories.
A Great Opportunity
Meta has a great deal of opportunities to improve the company. It will have to focus on the activities that matter most to its existing userbase while investing a reasonable amount into R&D to secure a bright future. What, in your view, could Meta improve? What opportunities are there that it is missing out on at the present moment?