WhatsApp Business app has finally been launched for small and medium businesses in select markets that include Italy, Indonesia, Mexico, the UK, and the US. A broader rollout is expected to begin in coming weeks in more countries that will also include India. Called WhatsApp Business, the new app comes with business-centric features and tools and is targeted at the businesses. The WhatsApp Business is now available to download from Google Play store in the first wave of countries.
The WhatsApp Business App in India is expected to be launched in the coming weeks, along with other markets. The Facebook-owned company has been testing the WhatsApp Business beta versions with various businesses across the world, including some businesses in India such as BookMyShow and Netflix India.
WhatsApp Business App Features
Facebook has been mulling to initiate a revenue model for its popular messaging app, now used by over 1 billion active users daily. The WhatsApp Business app is presently available only for small businesses that can use the tools and features to connect with their customers. It has been already available in beta versions but the company has now rolled out a stable version in Google Play store. The WhatsApp Business app comes with features such as Business Profiles, Messaging Statistics, Account Type, and Messaging Tools that include ‘quick replies’, ‘greeting messages’, and ‘away messages’. In addition, the WhatsApp Business will also work on desktops with its WhatsApp Web version.
On its blog, WhatsApp explains the features that come inside the new WhatsApp Business app. The Business Profiles will be like the account info of a particular business carrying details such as a business description, email or store addresses, and website. This will inform the user about the company, its services, and products. The Messaging Statistics will let the business review metrics like the number of messages and chats read to keep a count. The Account Type is essentially an indication to the customers that they are chatting with a business as it will be listed as a Business Account to distinguish from the regular profiles. The Business Account will also get confirmed after the process of matching the account phone number with the business phone number is complete. The Messaging Tools are designed to ease the process of connecting with the customers where ‘quick replies’ will give fast answers to some frequently asked questions by the customers, ‘greeting messages’ will introduce the business to the customers in the chat, and ‘away messages’ will respond on behalf of the business in its absence to attend the chat.
How to register for WhatsApp Business?
WhatsApp Business app is now available to download from Google Play store. After installing it, businesses can register on WhatsApp Business using a number that is different from the number used in WhatsApp Messenger. Businesses can even use their landline numbers to register themselves on WhatsApp Business.
WhatsApp notes in its blog that WhatsApp Business supports all other features similar to the regular version of its messaging app. “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,” reads the blog post. As we said, the Google Play listing of the app says that users can run both WhatsApp Messenger and WhatsApp Business apps on the same phone, however, each app must have a number different from the other one. Features such as free calls, international messaging, group chats, and offline messages have been retained from WhatsApp Messenger.
The WhatsApp Business app is currently available for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), as we said. The wider rollout will be joined by larger enterprises such as airlines, bank institutions, e-commerce firms. This is also when the WhatsApp Business app is expected to arrive in India, along with more countries. It is worth noting that WhatsApp began testing verified business profiles last year to get them onboard at the time of official launch. Indian businesses such as BookMyShow were also a part of this move.