Would The New WhatsApp Yellow Page Feature Benefit Local Businesses in Nigeria?

In its bid to update its set design and monetize certain features around the instant messaging app, WhatsApp, Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg in a statement on Wednesday, the 16th of September, 2021 revealed that the organisation is building a modern-day Yellow Page, where persons can look up and contact local businesses right inside the app.

“We’re building a modern-day Yellow Pages into WhatsApp where you can look up and contact local businesses right inside the app. Launching in São Paulo today, and hopefully more places soon”, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg

The first place of launch for such “experimental” work would be São Paulo, Brazil and in recent days, more places. This is a laudable effort by the social network giants but the question is, WOULD THIS BENEFIT THE LOCAL BUSINESSES IN NIGERIA?

According to statistics by statista.com, as of the Q3 of 2020, Nigeria had a 93% of the instant messaging application, WhatsApp, which in the recent months, have grown more as many are either users of the various forms of WhatsApp such as GB WhatsApp or WhatsApp FM. This clearly means that it is a more visited application above, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok and YouTube.

WHAT ARE YELLOW PAGES?

Yellow pages are a telephone directory, or a section of one, printed on yellow paper and listing businesses and other organizations according to the goods or services they offer. The yellow pages are telephone directories of businesses, organized by category rather than alphabetically by business name, in which advertising is sold.

The directories were originally printed on yellow paper, as opposed to white pages for non-commercial listings.

Yellow pages are often a means of traditional marketing and with the new upgrade by WhatsApp, it promises to connect persons (owners) and the other persons (clients) the businesses available to them. But how many businesses are registered? Yellow pages often arrange businesses alphabetically, what of lookalike businesses with familiar name tags, wouldn’t there be a conflict of interest?

Speaking with entrepreneurs and business owners in Jos, there were mixed reactions as to the introduction and use of yellow pages. Some believed that it was of no use, while some believe that it would be of great help to promoting the business within and outside Jos.

Kyim Andrew, a fashion designer said that it would really benefit entrepreneurs, giving them a greater chance at benefitting from the feature. She further added that the Nigerian public would have to be educated about it if not it’d be one of the many stale features.

Speaking with CRESTHUB, an entrepreneur, Tabitha Jonah stated that the feature would help her save up more on advert while giving her the edge for more people to know her business.

The Yellow Page Feature is one expected to serve the purpose of connecting people and businesses together. Although there are still uncertainties and unknowns about it, we’re still expectant that it would one useful tool of advertising in the 21st-century social media marketing strategy.