WhatsApp introduced its much awaited business app: WhatsApp Business. WhatsApp Business aims at establishing connections between customers and businesses in a refreshed and official essence, “separating customer and personal messages.” It is available for free on Google Play Store.
The app is live on Google Play Store in countries including Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S.
WhatsApp Business will be a separate application from the instant messaging platform which will authorize businesses to communicate with their consumer/client on a personal level in the form of a chat.
Unlike individual WhatsAppaccounts, people will know that they’re talking to a business as they will be listed as a Business Account. Over time, some businesses will have ‘Confirmed Accounts’ once it’s been confirmed that the account phone number matches the business phone number.
For normal Messenger users, WhatsApp claims that there will be no major change. The official blog states, “People can continue using WhatsApp as usual – there’s no need to download anything new. And people will continue to have full control over the messages they receive, with the ability to block any number, including businesses, as well as report spam.”
WhatsApp Business will remain free in the long term, however, the Facebook-owned company plans on charging for additional capabilities in the future.
India is the largest market for WhatsApp with a user base of 200 million. More than 80% of the small businesses in India and Brazil report that the concerned messaging platform helps in communication with customers, which further inspires expansion of their businesses. But, these two countries aren’t among the list to get it first. However, it is expected to experience a global rollout in the weeks to come.
Although, WhatsApp in India has collaborated with ticket booking platform BookMyShow, hotel rooms aggregator OYO and airlines lke Spicejet and Indigo for launching WhatsApp Business in the country. Moreover, the company has already partnered with banks including State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, and Axis Bank.
Hence we can say that WhatsApp has it’s base firmly rooted in the Indian market.