WhatsApp finally announced the WhatsApp Business app for small businesses. The Facebook-owned company last year started working on the business app, which it makes easier for companies to connect with customers. WhatsApp also states that its 1.3 billion users across the globe can chat with businesses that matter to them. WhatsApp Business app is currently available only for Android users, and it's free to download as well.
WhatsApp Business app offers the following features:
- Business Profiles: Help customers with useful information such as a business description, email or store addresses, and website.
- Messaging Tools: Save time with smart messaging tools — quick replies that provide fast answers to frequently asked questions, greeting messages that introduce customers to your business, and away messages that let them know you're busy.
- Messaging Statistics: Review simple metrics like the number of messages read to see what's working.
- WhatsApp Web: Send and receive messages with WhatsApp Business on your desktop.
- Account Type: People will know that they're talking to a business because you will be listed as a Business Account. Over time, some businesses will have Confirmed Accounts once it’s been confirmed that the account phone number matches the business phone number.
That said, WhatsApp Business app is entirely different from the standard WhatsApp application, and the former is meant to business while the latter is for the normal audience, which already exists. "People can continue using WhatsApp as usual — there's no need to download anything new. And people will continue to have full control over the messages they receive, with the ability to block any number, including businesses, as well as report spam," said WhatsApp in its blog post.
As per a recent report of Morning Consult study, more than 80% of small businesses in India and Brazil said WhatsApp helps them communicate with customers and grow their business. And the WhatsApp Business products make it easier for people to connect with the normal audience and vice versa, and that too in a fast and straightforward way.
WhatsApp Business is available today and free to download on Google Play in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S. The app is rolling out around the world in the coming weeks. WhatsApp says this is just the beginning, so expect many more new features to the business platform in the future.