WhatsApp launches a separate app for small businesses

Jan 20, 2018, 05:23
WhatsApp launches a separate app for small businesses

The WhatsApp Business application is an additional application that the user can download it from the Android Play Store.

Companies can create Business Profiles that provide users with additional information, such as business description, email or store addresses, and website. They will be able to use smart messaging; these will include tools for frequently asked questions, greeting messages to introduce customers to a business and away messages for when they are busy.

Idema, who was a Facebook executive before he joined WhatsApp previous year, said WhatsApp intends to charge businesses in some form in the future, but he said it was too soon to discuss when that would happen, or what the future business services would look like.

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We do wonder how exactly this will work here in South Africa where many businesses use a land line and not a mobile phone for their business.

Naturally, there are fears that users might be spammed, but WhatsApp says the existing system of businesses using one smartphone and one number to contact users simply wasn't sufficient, nor was the absence of any verification system for organisations. The company says that it plans to roll out the new app worldwide "in the coming weeks".

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WhatsApp Business can also integrate with the WhatsApp web app for access from desktop devices. WhatsApp Business changes the way we communicate with our customers, especially with features like quick replies which make our WhatsApp experience easier. On the flip side, if you want to get in touch with a company, you needn't download anything - just message them through the regular WhatsApp. People who have separate business and personal numbers can have both versions of the application installed on their handset and register themselves in each with different numbers.

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"People will know that they're talking about a business because you will be listed as a Business Account".

Over time, some businesses will have confirmed accounts once it has been confirmed that the account phone number matches the business phone number, a blog post from WhatsApp explains. The company, owned by Facebook, has now tackled this with the launch of a new app.

WhatsApp Business is now available to small business owners in the U.S., the U.K., Mexico Italy and Indonesia.

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