Back in September 2017, WhatsApp started WhatsApp Business pilot program with selected business houses and started verifying them. After long testing, WhatsApp officially announced the launch of the WhatsApp Business app in selected markets like Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S. In the rest of the world it may come in coming weeks.
So today we’re launching WhatsApp Business — a free-to-download Android app for small businesses. Our new app will make it easier for companies to connect with customers, and more convenient for our 1.3 billion users to chat with businesses that matter to them.
Small businesses can set up their business profiles and easily communicate with the customers. The app is only available for Android. Here are some basic feature provided by WhatsApp as written in their blog
- Business Profiles: Help customers with useful information such as a business description, email or store addresses, and website.
- Messaging Tools: 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: Review simple metrics like the number of messages read to see what’s working.
- WhatsApp Web: Send and receive messages with WhatsApp Business on your desktop.
- Account Type: People will know that they’re talking to a business because you will be listed as a Business Account. Over time, some businesses will have Confirmed Accounts once it’s been confirmed that the account phone number matches the business phone number.
While businesses will use new app by WhatsApp, users so not need to do any change in app. They will have full control over their messages, can directly contact with business houses and block them or report them as spam.
These businesses will have a green badge next to their name, that indicate that business is verified by WhatsApp. The businesses will only be able to contact with the user when mobile number is given to them and agreed to receive message, as previously announced.
Over 80% of small businesses in India and Brazil say WhatsApp helps them both communicate with customers and grow their business today (Source: Morning Consult study). And WhatsApp Business will make it easier for people to connect with them, and vice versa, in a fast and simple way.
In September 2017, news report came that BookMyShow in india started sending movie tickets on WhatsApp. Also, WhatsApp was in talk with Uber’s indian rival OLA, hotel room book service OYO and some airline services to use WhatsApp to send their booking details on WhatsApp.