WhatsApp Business app: What it is, how will it work, how to chat

By: | Published: September 6, 2017 6:02 PM

WhatsApp, the most popular messaging app in the world, has said that it is getting ready to get down to 'business'. All your questions regarding the new Business app answered here.

WhatsApp, WhatsApp for Business, WhatsApp Business, whatsapp business app, WhatsApp Verified accounts, WhatsApp for businesses, WhatsApp monetisation, WhatsApp enterprise, Facebook WhatsApp, WhatsApp feature, whatsapp encryption, whatsapp for business launchWhile WhatsApp and businesses get ready for the new feature, we are here to answer a few questions. (Reuters)

WhatsApp, the most popular messaging app in the world, has said that it is getting ready to get down to ‘business’. The Facebook owned app is testing tools that will help enterprises to connect and communicate easily with you. With 1.2 billion users globally and 200 million in India itself, this move is going to impact the market in a big way. WhatsApp chief operating officer (COO) Matt Idema told Wall Street Journal that the company may charge businesses in teh future but an exact model for that is not ready yet. In India, the feature was first introduced on the ticket booking website BookMyShow. While WhatsApp and businesses get ready for the new feature, we are here to answer a few questions.

What is the WhatsApp for businesses feature? The messaging app will have verified profiles for official businesses. You will see a green tick beside such profiles, similar to the ones on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. WhatsApp has said that it is already testing a ‘new, free business app for small companies and as well an enterprise solution for bigger firms’. The app has already shown how the verified profiles will look like. This will help businesses to connect with you directly and in a more personal way.

How will WhatsApp for business work? WhatsApp has said that users will get notifications on your app. So if you ordered something on Flipkart, Amazon or any e-commerce website and if they are present on WhatsApp, you will get regular updates on tracking the order directly on the platform. Similarly, you can get train or aeroplane timings directly.

When will the feature arrive? As of now, WhatsApp has said that it is in a testing phase. It is basically working on a free version of WhatsApp for businesses. Right now only a limited number of enterprises are available for testing, in a pilot program. So, it may take some time before it becomes globally available.

Why is WhatsApp doing this? WhatsApp currently has no way to generate revenue. There are no ads on the app. So, making a new feature directed at businesses seems to be the only way to monetise. With over 1.2 billion users on WhatsApp, Facebook will try to generate funds from an app it bought for a whopping $19 billion. Initially, the feature will be free but the company plans to charge the enterprises later.

Will encryption work even for WhatsApp for businesses? WhatsApp has said that the encryption feature will always be there in the app regardless of any new feature. So any communication between you and the company will be private and no third party will be able to read them. However, in case a business decides to hire a service provider to conduct its functioning on WhatsApp, that firm may be able to read the messages. WhatsApp has said that there will be an option to block any of the businesses on the mobile app.

Will UPI payments come on WhatsApp? Reports regarding a payments system on WhatsApp have been doing the rounds for quite some time now. It will add another dimension of the app, given there will be a direct communication with companies. However, WhatsApp has no confirmed about this even though this feature was spotted on the Beta version of the app.

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