WhatsApp Launches New App for Small Businesses

The enterprise solution allows global companies to provide their customers with notifications, like delivery confirmations and flight times. By WhatsApp's own admissions, over 80% of small businesses in these markets use WhatsApp and it makes no sense not to launch the app there first. However, how will this affect normal users?

Facebook bought WhatsApp, a pun on the phrase "What's up?", in 2014 for $19 billion, attracted by the size of its user base.

WhatsApp has always been used as an unofficial communication platform for business users, an attractive proposition due to its ease of set up and end-to-end encryption, despite some missing enterprise features. How quickly is it adopted by smaller Indian businesses given the broken internet infrastructure in India and the fact that SMSes are still unable to surmount bandwidth problems, remains to be seen. But WhatsApp have plans to extend the usability of similar services to bigger enterprises. It is assumed these tools will be added to the current WhatsApp for Business product.

How to start using the App?

Since WhatsApp Business will have its own standalone app, regular WhatsApp will continue to work as usual. Users will still be allowed to block businesses and report spam.

Designed primarily for small start-ups and SMEs, WhatsApp Business is available now on the Android platform. In India, the app has not been listed on Google's Play Store. It will become available globally "in the coming weeks", according to a company blog post, but it's unclear if and/or when an iOS version will roll out.

WhatsApp Business is a free Android app which enables users to interact with customers through the service, rather than by email or another form of communication.

Facebook is acquiring WhatsApp, a company with at most $300M revenues, and 55. WhatsApp also claimed that 84 percent of SMBs think that WhatsApp helps them communicate with customers, andA80 percent of SMBs think that WhatsApp helps them grow their business. "We're able to respond faster to customers with features like away messages and quick replies, and offer a better overall experience". There will also be the provision to upgrade to Confirmed Account once account phone number is found matching with the phone number and other credentials registered with the particular organisation. During verification, select the "Call me" option to receive the code over a phone call.

  • Arturo Norris