WhatsApp Launches Free Business App
Things are going to change around here. At least, that’s what WhatsApp is promising SMEs and corporations with the roll out of its new business messaging service.
WhatsApp is offering easier business to customer (B2C) communication, the capacity to separate client and personal communication, and the opportunity to build “an official presence”. The goal is to improve customer experience and business efficiency.
A feature-rich experience
WhatApp’s business app promises a range of services, including a business profile with contact information and website and email details.
The familiar messaging facility will also include automated greetings, away messages (so you can switch off if it’s time for a nap or your afternoon tea), and quick response answers to FAQs.
For the data obsessed, you’ll have access to stats, though we’re not sure why you’d need this exactly.
Verified business number are also soon to become a thing and will match official business numbers to WhatsApp accounts. This is being beta-tested right now and will likely roll out WhatsApp-wide in future.
Soon to be global
To date, there are 1.3 billion monthly active users of WhatApp. Crucially, regular users will not have to download anything extra and will be able to interact with businesses just as easily as they do with their friends and family.
This zero-friction approach to B2C communication almost guarantees its success.
Moreover, the app falls in line with the new Europe-wide GDPR act, which will become official in late May. Offering end-to-end encryption, it will only allow businesses to contact clients who have given them explicit permission to do so.
The WhatsApp business app is now available for businesses to download for free, on Android and is currently available Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S.
It will start to come alive in the rest of the world in the next few weeks. And we’re emoji-excited to see it reach Spain.
The announcement comes soon after Facebook’s move to demote Business Page reach. Businesses looking for new, more direct channels of communication with customers and leads should be thrilled at the prospect of a purpose-built user-friendly and feature rich service.
And with more businesses adopting a mobile-first approach, it looks like WhatsApp is destined to be one of the biggest players in the B2C eCommerce space.
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