WhatsApp is working on a new function designed so that users can more easily discover which businesses (that use WhatsApp Business) are nearby. It is a lucky directory based on our location and that, at the moment, is in the testing phase in São Paulo, Brazil.
When accessing this directory, the user will see a list with all the businesses around. These will be differentiated according to their category, see restaurants, shops or local services. It is something similar to the function that Telegram already has and that allows us to find users and groups close to our location.
“We do not register your location or the companies you see”
As Will Cathcart explained to Reuters, this new system could be “the main way to start a trade process on WhatsApp.” As we indicated previously, the test will be done in São Paulo and will include thousands of businesses in selected neighborhoods. Upon his arrival in other countries, Cathcart says that India and Indonesia are good candidates to expand the role.
Cathcart, who is Director of WhatsApp, has assured on his official Twitter profile that “like everything we do on WhatsApp, [este sistema] we have created it privately: We do not record your location or the businesses you see“.
This new movement by WhatsApp aims to enhance its section dedicated to business. WhatsApp Business is one of the spearheads of WhatsApp monetization thanks to its API, since companies that integrate it into their services pay to use it.
For example, in Spain each message of the first 250,000 messages sent costs 0.0340 euros. The more messages sent, the cheaper each message is. From 25 million messages, the price per message drops to 0.0299 euros. It may seem like a lot, but it is not so much if we think of large companies such as Booking, Uber or Wish, that use the API.
Speaking of monetization, it has been mentioned on several occasions that the ads will reach WhatsApp at some point (remember, it is part of Facebook along with Instagram). In that sense, Cathcart has said that “there is definitely a route in the ads, which is the main business model of Facebook, which in the long term I believe that in one way or another will be part of the WhatsApp business model“No further details have been provided.
Via | Reuters