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20 January 2018, 05:22 | Harold Aguilar
WhatsApp launches standalone Android app for businesses
WhatsApp Business, however, is meant to open a new channel of communication between businesses and their customers. The company says that some Business Accounts will have Confirmed Accounts over time once it's been confirmed that their account phone number matches the business phone number.
The app also includes messaging tools similar to those in that other Facebook-owned platform, Messenger. There's also "greeting messages", to quickly introduce customers to the user's business, and "away messages" to quickly inform customers that they're busy.
For everyday WhatsApp users anxious that the new app will see them inundated with spam, the company has said that companies will only be able to contact people who provided their phone number and agreed to receive messages from a particular business. WhatsApp Web is also enabled for the app.
Account Type: People will know that they're talking to a business because you will be listed as a Business Account.
WhatsApp Business can be downloaded directly from Google Play and must be installed on a smartphone just like the standard version. And over 80% of the users in India and Brazil already use WhatsApp for business purposes. The application isn't that different from the original in terms of UI, but adds a number of business-related features to make interacting with consumers a lot easier than before.
WhatsApp had earlier stated that it is important to serve businesses as they heavily rely on the platform to communicate with their customers.
The firm stated the following on their blog: "WhatsApp Business is available today and free to download on Google Play in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the U.S. The app is rolling out around the world in the coming weeks". It will roll out around the world over the next few weeks. There is a version for iOS in the works, but there's no definitive launch date as yet.
WhatsApp Business is now available to small business owners in the U.S., the U.K., Mexico Italy and Indonesia.
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