WhatsApp Rolls Out New WhatsApp Business App For Small Businesses

WhatsApp finally launches standalone WhatsApp Business app - here’s how it works

WhatsApp finally launches standalone WhatsApp Business app for small and medium-size businesses – read how the application shall work below.

The cross-platform instant messaging application, WhatsApp has launched its new WhatsApp Business service in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the US and the UK, ahead of a worldwide launch that will follow over the coming weeks.

The idea behind WhatsApp Business, a free Android app for small businesses, is to make it easier for companies to establish a profile and to connect with customers, and for WhatsApp users to chat with businesses.

With the new app, users will be able to access business profiles, with a description, email or store address, and website.

In an official statement, Whatsapp said:

“People all around the world use WhatsApp to connect with small businesses they care about — from online clothing companies in India to auto parts stores in Brazil. But WhatsApp was built for people and we want to improve the business experience. For example, by making it easier for businesses to respond to customers, separating customer and personal messages, and creating an official presence.”

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.

The app will also provide messaging statistics and metrics so companies can see what is working. Finally, businesses will be able to send and receive messages on their desktop and have a business account type.

People will be able to continue using WhatsApp as usual, with no need to download anything new.

WhatsApp says it has 1.3 billion users worldwide. The company quoted a study that showed how over 80 percent of small businesses in India and Brazil say WhatsApp helps them both communicate with customers and grow their business (Morning Consult study).

WhatsApp first said in early 2016 that it would explore business services after the app dropped its annual fee. It started testing the business services in 2017 with selected customers.

Designed with the intent to make it easier and convenient for companies to connect with customers, as well as for businesses to chat with customers, WhatsApp has introduced the following features:

Business Profiles

This will help customers with useful information such as a business description, email or store addresses, and website.

Messaging Tools

Will 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

Will help businesses review simple metrics like the number of messages read to see what’s working.

Account Type

This will help users know that they’re talking to a business which will be listed as a Business Account. Over time, some businesses will have Confirmed Accounts once it’s confirmed that the account phone number matches the business phone number.

Just like WhatsApp messenger, WhatsApp Web will have similar functionalities which will allow users to send and receive messages with WhatsApp Business on their desktop.

So, will anything change for the regular users of WhatsApp?

No. WhatsApp states that people can continue using WhatsApp as usual. Further, there’s no need to download anything new.

What do you think of this new initiative from WhatsApp? As a business owner, will you sign up for WhatsApp Business? 

Share feedback, opinion and any comments you may have in the comments section below 

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Mac-Jordan Degadjor

Award winning Ghanaian Technology and Startup Enthusiast. Passionate about the inter-correlation of technology, entrepreneurship and innovation within the African tech ecosystem. Tweet: @MacJordan Got news, products or services to promote on the blog, reach out via hello[at]macjordangh[dot]com or (+233) 544335582