Meta has announced that its messaging platform WhatsApp is launching a yellow pages-style business directory in five countries.
The feature will roll out across Brazil, the UK, Indonesia, Mexico and Colombia, reports The Verge.
According to the company, the new feature will help users to either search directly to find companies that are contactable on the service or browse by business types such as travel or banking.
All the users who signed up for WhatsApp’s Business Platform across the five countries will display in the directory.
In Brazil, the directory will also be open to small businesses.
“While millions of businesses in Brazil use WhatsApp for chat, we haven’t made it easy to discover businesses or buy from them, so people end up having to use work-around,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg was quoted as saying.
“The ultimate goal here is to make it so you can find, message and buy from a business all in the same WhatsApp chat.”
The feature’s introduction coincides with the company’s increasing effort to position itself as a platform for messaging businesses in addition to friends and family.
After a limited test in Sao Paulo last year, the company now decided to officially release the feature.