New feature will allow users to search for nearby shops and restaurants

WhatsApp is developing a new feature that will allow users to search for nearby businesses directly from the app. Users will see an area with subcategories like Photographs, Movies, and Documents while searching for something on the app. A second part will present the neighboring businesses such as restaurants, grocery stores and other services.

The “Business Directory” feature was first reported by WABetaInfo when it was made available to some users in So Paulo, Brazil, and is expected to be made available to more users in other locations in the near future. Users will benefit from the feature as it allows them to search for local businesses and then contact them directly through the app.

This feature is most likely intended to facilitate purchases through WhatsApp, which already has its own payment mechanism through UPI in places like India. Users will be able to search for nearby stores, restaurants and other businesses, communicate with their respective WhatsApp Business accounts, choose from a catalog of products and services, and pay directly from the app, all without ever leaving WhatsApp.

The feature is still not available in Pakistan and there are currently no estimates of its availability. More information on planned additions, such as new business directory functionality, should be available in early 2022.

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