WhatsApp has announced testing for its new business app which the company hopes will better connect businesses and customers.
The Facebook-owned company is pitching the new business app at seemingly everyone, targeting both small and large businesses cross-industry.
The new business app aims to make it easier for customers to communicate with businesses, and vice versa. The app will offer varied capabilities for customers, who will be able to place orders, make queries and browse products. For businesses the new app offers a way to bolster customer service, opening up a new channel in which to respond quickly to customers.
Adding security into the mix, verified businesses will be given “official presence” status via a green badge tick next to their contact name.
However, there is a catch – businesses will have to pay for the service. Looking to successfully monetise the service, WhatsApp will charge businesses – although the price and introduction of the charges has yet to be confirmed.
In a blog post WhatsApp said: “In the coming month’s we’ll be testing new features that aim to solve some of these challenges and make it easier for people to communicate with the businesses they want to reach.”
“We want to apply what we’ve learned helping people connect with each other to helping people connect with businesses that are important to them.”
The new app aimed at businesses is the first development Whatsapp has done since being bought by Facebook three years ago, hoping to eventually monetize WhatsApp and create more revenue.
Facebook Messenger has already begun to encourage users to connect with businesses already by using tap-to-message ads to initiate customers to start conversations; WhatsApp Business aims to do the same but without the ads.
However, instead of advertising, WhatsApp plans to charge businesses using the app in the hope of generating revenue.
Europe, India, Brazil and Indonesia are currently all testing the free service.