So after a long wait, finally this has happened. After its business pilot program launched last year in September WhatsApp has now finally launched its special app for business users with a simple and straightforward name. The app is called “WhatsApp Business”, and it will help small businesses connect with their customers on one of the most used and loved messaging platform in the world. Let’s see what this new app is, what it has to offer and how can you as a business get started on it:
Key features of WhatsApp Business app:
The key features of this new Whatsapp Business app are as follows:
- Special Business Profilesthat can contain more information than general user profiles. You can include your website, address with location, office timings, email address and more. These profiles will be easily recognizable and people will know that they’re talking to a business.
- Better messaging tools that will allow you to communicate in a better way with your customers. For example, you can set up away messagesthat will be automatically sent to your customers when they message you at a time other than your office time. You can also set greeting messages that will be sent automatically when someone messages you for the first time, and quick replies that will allow you to quickly answer the frequently asked questions without having to type the answer manually several times.
- Mass analysis of user statistics.For instance, you will be able to see the number of messages read, and also a number of other things to figure out what’s working and what’s not.
Just like normal WhatsApp Messenger, WhatsApp Business app will also work with WhatsApp web so you can send and receive messages from a computer.
How to get started with WhatsApp Business:
Getting started with this app is easy. You just need to download the app from Play Store and install it on your phone like any other app. Once you’ve done it, you’ll have to register on it using a number that’s not linked to any WhatsApp Messenger account. It means that your personal phone number, which you use on WhatsApp to chat with your friends, will not work. You’ll need a different number that’s not linked to any WhatsApp account (i.e. your business number or some other number).
Once you’ve registered on the new app using a different number, you’ll be able to use the app like normal WhatsApp. And it will work as a standalone app on your phone, having nothing to do with your regular WhatsApp Messenger, so you can keep using both apps on one device.
Over time some businesses will also get a verified green tickmark on their profiles, which will be similar to the verified blue tickmark of Facebook. The mark will be added to profiles once they prove that their WhatsApp profile number really belongs to their particular business.
Right now WhatsApp Business is available for download in Italy, Indonesia, Mexico, UK and US only. In India and other countries the app is not even listed in Play Store, but company has said that a global roll out is going to happen very soon.
What does it mean for regular WhatsApp users?
Nothing much. All of us will be able to use WhatsApp just as we do without installing or doing anything new. And we’ll also have complete control over the messages that we receive – if someone is spamming us, we can block it even if it’s a Business account. We will also be able to report a message as spam.
So that’s WhatsApp Business. Right now company’s offering is aimed at small businesses only, but it said that it soon plans to roll out a similar (or may be same) app for bigger companies as well. Now, it will be interesting to see which additional features are added to the service for big companies.