In recent years, WhatsApp has been trying to monetize its more than 1.3 billion users by highlighting the messaging platform’s potential use in business. Last year, the Facebook-owned messaging app hinted that its thrust towards business users by introducing verified business accounts, which sparked speculations that the company was planning a business version of the app.
It turns out that those speculations were correct after all. The company just officially launched the new WhatsApp Business app. However, the new business version of Whatsapp seems to be available only in select countries which include Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S. Meanwhile, the company promised that the new app will be available to the rest of the world in the coming weeks.
WhatsApp Business app is packaged as the ideal communication tool for small businesses. As such, it contains the usual functions you may expect from a business app.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) January 19, 2018
For instance, business owners can create their business profiles that could increase their visibility. They can post on their profiles useful information such as the addresses of their physical stores, a link to their website, their email address as well as a description of their business.
The new app also addresses the need for businesses to get in touch with their customers. With smart messaging tools, businesses can make quick replies which could be a pre-formatted response to frequently asked questions. According to the WhatsApp blog post, business owners can even send away messages to inform customers that staff is busy and can’t respond at the moment.
In addition, a messaging statistics function is introduced as a way to measure which messaging strategy is working. For example, businesses can know how many of the intended recipients read the bulk messages they sent. The messaging app also functions on a desktop, which is a very convenient feature for handling multiple customers simultaneously.
WhatsApp confirmed that the new app version will remain free for the long term. But of course, they are not discounting the possibility that they might introduce paid additional capabilities in the future.
[Featured image via Pixabay]