Looking to reach out to a wider base of small and medium enterprises, WhatsApp has launched the WhatsApp Business app for SMEs to use the messaging platform for managing business profiles.
Over 80 per cent of small businesses in India and Brazil say WhatsApp helps them both communicate with customers and grow their business.
The company announced the decision in a blog post, “People all around the world use WhatsApp to connect with small businesses they care about — from online clothing companies in India to auto parts stores in Brazil. But WhatsApp was built for people and we want to improve the business experience. For example, by making it easier for businesses to respond to customers, separating customer and personal messages, and creating an official presence. 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.”
The app will offer businesses an option to make a business profile, as well as certain messaging tools for the platform such as quick replies that provide fast answers to frequently asked questions, greeting messages that introduce customers to their business, away messages and messaging statistics.
The messaging platform’s users will know that they’re talking to a business because as the profiles 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.
Currently, the app is available on Google Play in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S with plans to roll out around the world in the coming weeks.