WhatsApp has finally launched its WhatsApp Business app — a free-to-download Android app for small businesses. Aimed at small businesses, the new WhatsApp Business app is designed to help companies better connect with their customers and establish an official presence on WhatsApp’s platform. Companies can set up their WhatsApp Business profiles by filling out information such as a business description, store address, email, and website.
Over time, WhatsApp will verify the account and list it as a Confirmed Business Account if the registered phone number matches the business phone number. This would help people know that they are talking to a verified business, WhatsApp mentioned in its blog post.
Once established on the WhatsApp network, businesses can then use a series of smart messaging tools provided by the WhatsApp Business app. For example, the app offers “quick replies” that provide fast answers to customers’ frequently asked questions; “greeting messages” that introduce customers to the business; and “away messages,” that let customers know you’re busy. Businesses can also review simple metrics like the number of messages read to see what’s working.
While businesses may need to download this new app to reach out to their customers, for the general WhatsApp user, there’s no change as such. Customers 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. In addition, businesses will only be able to contact people who provided their phone number and agreed to receive messages from the business.
WhatsApp Business app is currently available as a free download for Android users in India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S. WhatsApp mentioned in its blog post that the app will be available worldwide in the coming weeks. However, there is no update on when WhatsApp Business iOS version would arrive.