WhatsApp Business has officially become available to the public after a long testing phase which saw brands like BookMyShow trying their hands at the platform. However, it’s currently only available on Android and in a few select countries.
Anyone can join WhatsApp Business for free. The app is just like the regular one, only it asks for more information such as the name of the business, website, address, and description. The consumer on the other end doesn’t have to do anything special to get the messages either.
One of the biggest worries with a dedicated Business app is that it will lead to an increase in spam. WhatsApp says it’ll be verifying accounts gradually to make sure the business is the real deal, so users should look out for a green checkmark next to the account name.
Plus, they’ll also be able to block numbers and mark them as spam. The app itself has a host of features to make interactions with small enterprises and customers more convenient on both sides of the aisle. For instance, there are a couple of smart messaging tools like quick replies for frequently asked queries and away messages during off-hours.
Interestingly, WhatsApp says that a person can download both the standard and Business app in a single phone. They’ll have to register with different numbers of course, but this should be simple enough if they have separate business and personal numbers. The company’s even allowing landlines and fixed lines to be registered.
You can download WhatsApp Business via the Play Store. It’s currently available in the US, the UK, Indonesia, Italy, and Mexico. India will get it eventually in the coming weeks, as will iPhone users.