WhatsApp on Thursday announced the introduction of “catalog feature” for business. The Facebook-owned social messaging platform announced the feature will make it easier for small businesses to connect with customers and grow. The feature uses the “WhatsApp Business app” to share information about their products and services. WhatsApp is rolling out the feature for both Android and iOS users in India, Brazil, Germany, Indonesia, Mexico, the UK and the US. The feature will be released across the world soon.

“Catalogs are a mobile storefront for businesses to showcase and share their goods. This will allow people to easily browse and discover something they would like to buy. Previously businesses had to send product photos one at a time and repeatedly provide information. Now customers can see their full catalog right within WhatsApp,” the company said in a statement. WhatsApp says that this allows business owners look more professional and keeps customers engaged in the chat without having to visit a website.

For each item in its catalog, a business can add information, including price, description and product code. WhatsApp says that it hosts these catalogs to save storage space on the phones of both businesses and users. The company also notes that it gave the founder Andhika Mahardika early access to the catalog feature. He told the publication that it makes it easier for customers to learn about their “products, know the prices and view the images of what they offer.”

This is the first major addition to WhatsApp Businesses in quite some time. The social messaging platform is looking for new ways to make revenue. By connecting businesses with customers, WhatsApp sees an opportunity to continue engaging its users. WhatsApp Businesses is also seen as a potential death to SMS messaging.

(Written with IANS inputs)