nsucurrent.com April 19, 2018

WhatsApp launches 'WhatsApp Business' to target small business

20 January 2018, 05:24 | Ricardo Garza

WhatsApp Introduces new Dedicated App for Businesses to Connect With Their Customers

WhatsApp launches standalone Android app for businesses

Created to make it easier for smaller companies to connect with their customers, the new app is detailed in a recent WhatsApp blog post.

WhatsApp Business could be a big boon in developing nations, where more informal platforms, like WhatsApp, are used by small businesses to advertise, liaise and sell to customers.

The SMEs will be able to share their business description, email, website, and store addresses of their customers.

This exclusive app will have features like quick replies to provide fast answers to frequently asked questions, greeting messages and away messages to let them know that you are busy.

WhatsApp is king of the messenger apps, with over a billion daily users.

The new business accounts are aimed at firms that receive a high volume of WhatsApp messages and need help keeping up, WhatsApp Chief Operating Officer Matt Idema said.

We do wonder how exactly this will work here in South Africa where many businesses use a land line and not a mobile phone for their business.

Glassics is a fashion eyewear company that tested WhatsApp Business first-hand to message customers quickly and build personal relationships with them.

WhatsApp Business is now available for free on Google Play in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, UK, and US. According to the official announcement, during the next few weeks it will be extended to the rest of the world.

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However concerns have already been raised that WhatsApp is actually looking to make a lot of money from the new app by charging larger enterprises for more advanced features. Businesses can also get a Twitter-style "Verified Account" badge once WhatsApp verifies its phone number. WhatsApp Business, however, is meant to open a new channel of communication between businesses and their customers. So, they can also connect with businesses using WhatsApp Web.

Shortly afterwards, WhatsApp published an FAQ page, which clears up any potential confusion around the app. For over 80 per cent of small businesses in India and Brazil, WhatsApp helps them communicate with customers and grow their business.

Exclusive SMEs app is available in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the US.

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