Since WhatsApp announced it is dropping its $0.99 annual subscription fee for users, in favour of a free end-user platform and a premium platform for businesses. We have been waiting to see how the WhatsApp Business app will look like.
Well, the Facebook-owned instant messaging app has officially rolled out the WhatsApp Business app is select markets around the world. These markets including the U.S., U.K., Mexico, Italy, and Indonesia, as the WhatsApp Business plans for a worldwide rollout soon.
With the drop of $0.99 subscription for end users, WhatsApp plans to monetize its platform by enabling businesses and brands to reach their customers at a premium. The fact that the conventional WhatsApp app now has over a billion users worldwide makes it one of the most promising platform for businesses and brands to reach out to customers.
The WhatsApp Business app is currently only available for Android devices; iOS set to follow soon. The platform aims at enabling businesses to communicate with customers effectively. The platform essentially works like a Facebook Page while reaching out to customers.
The company had begun verifying business accounts ahead of the rollout of WhatsApp Business pilot phase in September 2017. Verified business accounts were given a green checkmark. The verification process for businesses is still ongoing. A business will need to fill out its information giving details like its email address, website, physical address, and a description of their business.
WhatsApp also assures end users that they will know when they are talking to a business since they will be listed as ‘Business Accounts.’ With time, some of those accounts will be graduated to be ‘Confirmed Accounts’ once such businesses register and verify themselves as a business to WhatsApp.
After establishing themselves on the WhatsApp networks, businesses will have access to multiple tools within the app to help them reach their customers. These tools include features like smart messaging, which resembles what you now find on Facebook Messenger.
For instance, the app will give businesses ‘quick replies’ options for enabling them to respond fast to customers’ frequently asked questions, offer greetings, or acknowledge they have received the customers’ message.
The platform will also give the businesses important statistics on things like how many times their messages were read. Businesses can uses WhatsApp Businesses app from either the desktop via the WhatsApp Web or through the mobile app.
The end user (general user) they will continue using the app with no charges. While they will be able to message businesses, they will also have the power to control the experience. If needed they will have the power to block certain business numbers and report spam messages. The businesses will only be able to contact end users who have explicitly given them their numbers and agreed to receive messages from the business through WhatsApp.
Later, WhatsApp Business will be joined with an enterprise solution system designed for big corporations with a customer base spread across the globe. The enterprise solution will be particularly ideal for businesses such as airlines, banks, and e-commerce websites among others.
Download WhatsApp Business app for Android at this link.