The popular online messaging service, WhatsApp, has announced that it will be offering a new app which is specifically designed for businesses. Over 1 billion people currently use the message service across 180 countries to stay in touch with friends and family.
According to the FAQ section on the company’s website, the new app will feature verified and non verified profiles. WhatsApp has provided details on how users can distinguish between the two as well as listing some of the key features that will be offered as part of the new service.
WhatsApp is currently used by a lot of businesses in Asia as a way of communicating with clients and colleagues. This informal way of talking has become massively popular, and earlier in the year the service introduced the “business-focused verified profiles”. This addition to the app allows companies to receive authentication, providing reassurance to customers and other users.
The company said that “While chatting with businesses, you can check your contact’s profile to see which type of account they’re using. A verified account has a green checkmark badge in its profile. A business account with a grey question mark badge in its profile means the account is using the WhatsApp Business app but hasn’t been confirmed nor verified by WhatsApp.”
The app is currently being tested privately, and it’s hoped that the company will soon introduce it as a standalone app called “WhatsApp Business”. The new app is described as “As a test partner for ‘WhatsApp Business’, you have early access to a wide range of new features that we’ve built with you in mind. As you experiment with what this new app has to offer, please share your experiences with us so that we can improve the product.”
The exact design of the app is yet to be confirmed; however it’s thought that most of the layout will be the same other than the logo, which will be different to the one that’s used in the original WhatsApp service. The new app will provide users with some additional features to improve its service to business customers. These include auto responses, business profiles, analytics and chat migration.
WhatsApp added that “We also provide you with the tools you need to control your experience with businesses. You can block business accounts and report them as spam at any time, right within the chat.” The new features are designed specifically for businesses, which the company has designed to add to the service it provides. WhatsApp hopes that it will encourage more companies and professionals to use the app to communicate.