WhatsApp launches app for small businesses

20 January, 2018, 04:13 | Author: Marjorie Miles
  • WhatsApp launches standalone Android app for businesses

"We're launching WhatsApp Business - a free-to-download Android app for small businesses".

The WhatsApp Business standalone app was announced by Facebook on Wednesday in an effort to make business communication with customers more streamlined for SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) on the popular messaging platform.

Business Profiles: Help customers with useful information such as a business description, email or store addresses, and website. It also allows businesses to review simple metrics, such as the number of messages sent by their company that have actually been read, according to the company. It'll also have WhatsApp Web support, the app's desktop web browser client. Businesses can also get a Twitter-style "Verified Account" badge once WhatsApp verifies its phone number.

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Users with separate business and personal phone numbers can have both WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Messenger installed on the same phone, and register them with different numbers. "People can continue using WhatsApp as usual - there's no need to download anything new". The app will roll out globally in the next few weeks.

WhatsApp Business will allow these accounts to analyse user activity on a mass level.

WhatsApp Business can be downloaded directly from Google Play and must be installed on a smartphone just like the standard version. Having a social media presence is important for a lot of businesses these days, so WhatsApp has chose to facilitate them better by launching an app made specifically for them.

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After creating a "Business account", companies can access a host of additional features meant for them. In spite of that, Facebook-owned instant messenger chose to ignore these two countries in their initial roll-out phase of WhatsApp Business, which was no less than a shocker. In the chat, tap the menu button and select Report Spam or Block. With no plans to bring advertisements to WhatsApp, business subscriptions could be the ultimate way for Facebook to earn revenue from the app.

Businesses in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. can now download the app from the Google Play Store for free. WhatsApp did not mention when or if an iOS version would be available. By WhatsApp's own admissions, over 80% of small businesses in these markets use WhatsApp and it makes no sense not to launch the app there first.

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