16 Sep 2021: WhatsApp starts testing in-app business directory, multi-device support on iOS
WhatsApp has two new features on the cards. Firstly, it is testing the possibility of searching for local businesses or stores offering certain products within WhatsApp itself. This could promote businesses without ads and open monetization options for the platform. Secondly, WhatsApp has rolled out multi-device support, allowing you to link your iPhone and Mac without joining the TestFlight beta program. Here's more.
Supporting businesses: In-app business directory begins testing in Brazil, to stay ad-free
The Facebook-owned messaging service has begun testing a feature to encourage e-commerce on WhatsApp in Sao Paulo, Brazil. WhatsApp doesn't allow ads on its platform, so the new feature that allows users to search for local businesses on the app might be the way to go. Reuters reported that the businesses would include categories such as food, retail, and local services in some neighborhoods.
VP’s thoughts: Facebook believes India is 'good candidate' for testing business directories
Facebook's VP of Business Messaging, Matt Idema, told Reuters, "This could be the primary way that people start a commerce process in WhatsApp (sic)." Idema confirmed that the feature could be expanded to regions, including Indonesia and India. The company believes these countries are "good candidates to expand the feature." Idema hinted that WhatsApp could also introduce in-app ads on WhatsApp in the future.
Details: WhatsApp users on stable iOS version finally get multi-device support
Additionally, WhatsApp has reportedly begun testing the initial version of multi-device support on Android and iOS. The feature is starting to roll out on the stable channel for iOS users. For now, only four devices can be linked and none of them can be phones, except for the main device. You could link macOS/Windows computers, WhatsApp Web sessions, or a Facebook Portal device.
Instructions: Here's how to get started with multi-device on iOS
To enable multi-device beta on iOS, update to the latest version from App Store and select the multi-device prompt from Linked Devices section. Joining logs you out of current sessions. Now scan the QR code and log back in on your devices and use them independently. Do note that you may not be able to call people using older versions of WhatsApp after this.
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