WhatsApp on Thursday launched the much anticipated WhatsApp Business Android app, which will be free-to-download for small businesses, and make it easier for companies to connect with customers.
Users with separate business and personal phone numbers can have both WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Messenger installed on the same phone, and register them with different numbers.
WhatsApp Business is available on Google Play in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the UK and the US. It is also available in India.
“Over 80 percent of small businesses in India and Brazil say WhatsApp helps them both communicate with customers and grow their business today (Source: Morning Consult study). And WhatsApp Business will make it easier for people to connect with them, and vice versa, in a fast and simple way,” WhatsApp said in a statement on Thursday.
WhatsApp added that people will not have to download anything new, and will also have “full control over the messages they receive, with the ability to block any number, including businesses, as well as report spam”.
The new version of the app will let users have business profiles with information such as business description, email or store addresses, and website.
By late Thursday night, the app was rated 3.9 by 390 Google Play users.
Business Accounts will be marked to let people know that they’re talking to a business. Over time, some businesses will have confirmed accounts once it’s been confirmed that the account phone number matches the business phone number.
Businesses using the app will have smart messaging tools that will have quick replies providing fast answers to frequently asked questions, greeting messages that introduce customers to their business, and away messages that let them know the business is busy.
Businesses will also be able to review simple metrics like the number of messages read to see what customers are liking. The new app will also work on the desktop version.
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