WhatsApp’s Business app has finally gotten off the ground in multiple countries including the US, Italy, Indonesia, Mexico, and the UK. Strangely enough, India has been left off the initial list even though the company claims 80% of small businesses in India and Brazil say that the application helps them communicate with customers and grow their business.
WhatsApp’s promising to spread availability of its Business app to more countries in the coming weeks. For now, it’s only open to Android devices and WhatsApp Web. The application isn’t that different from the original in terms of UI, but adds a number of business-related features to make interacting with consumers a lot easier than before.
For example, WhatsApp Business comes with smart messaging tools like quick replies to send out for commonly asked questions, away messages for when the shop is closed, and greeting messages for new customers. Users can even view insights like the number of texts which have been sent, delivered, and read.
WhatsApp Business also bundles in support for landlines or fixed phones, something which the regular app can’t do. People who have separate business and personal numbers can have both versions of the application installed on their handset and register themselves in each with different numbers.
WhatsApp is planning to confirm businesses over time, so look out for a green checkmark next to an account’s name. It’s also allowing normal users to block any number or report them as spam. Even so, there might be a rise in annoying messages from random businesses in the future and there’s not much the company can do to stop that.
You can download WhatsApp Business via the Play Store. There is a version for iOS in the works, but there’s no definitive launch date as yet.