Following months of development, WhatsApp has finally launched its new business version of the messaging service in the UK.
The application is designed specifically for small start-ups or existing businesses, as well as SMEs and is also now available on the Android platform.
WhatsApp hopes that the app will bring benefits to many businesses and customers, connecting businesses with customers and enabling better communication with employees.
WhatsApp said in a blog post: “Our new app will make it easier for companies to connect with customers, and more convenient to our 1.3billion users to chat with businesses that matter to them.”
The WhatsApp Business App will provide businesses with a secure, verified platform for customers and businesses to engage on. Unlike the current application, businesses will have a ‘business profile’ that will be verified with a ‘verified tick’ by WhatsApp. This authenticates the business account and tells the customer that they are talking to the official account.
The ‘business profile’ provides key information, including a basic description, addresses and website information. By creating a business profile, not just an account, it makes it easier for customers to find what they are looking for. This will also help businesses because frequently queried information can be answered in a much simpler way, leaving more time for businesses to spend helping customers with more complex questions.
The WhatsApp Business App also provides ‘Messaging Tools’, functionality that helps make conversations with customers or employees more efficient. For example, the business app will have a ‘quick replies’ option that will provide fast answers to customer FAQs, as well as introduction messages and away messages.
What is still left unclear, despite the app going live, is whether the service will eventually be a paid for option.
The testing and development of the service began in September last year and the service is available to download from the Apple App Store and Android Play.