Facebook has announced the development of a new yellow pages feature that will be built into its messaging app, WhatsApp. This will allow users to look up contacts of local businesses directly in the app. The new feature will be launched in São Paulo, Brazil and to more locations in the future.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced this through his page on the platform.
“We’re building a modern-day Yellow Pages into WhatsApp where you can look up and contact local businesses right inside the app. Launching in São Paulo today, and hopefully more places soon.”
Back in the day, Yellow pages was a fixture in the directories, giving access to direct contacts of several businesses in the area.
Nowadays, most people search for contact information on Google or social media.
According to Reuters, WhatsApp will include several businesses including food, retail and local services across the São Paulo neighborhoods. Facebook’s vice president of business messaging, Matt Idema, pointed at India as the next best candidate for the testing of the feature.
Idema also hinted at the possibility of introducing in-app ads in WhatsApp in the future, something that has been limited to Indtagram and Facebook.
“There’s definitely a route on ads, which is Facebook’s core business model, that over the long term I think in some form or another will be part of the business model for WhatsApp,” he said.
A WhatsApp report to Reuters showed that at least one million Facebook and Instagram advertisers have the “Click to Whatsapp” feature that allows visitors to send them a WhatsApp message directly.
Whatsapp told Reuters that about one million advertisers currently use Facebook and Instagram’s ‘click to WhatsApp’ ads to send users to the messaging app directly. This essentially intended to push people to enquire.