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WhatsApp launches android app for small businesses

20 January 2018

The app can coexist with your regular WhatsApp app, so you can keep the latter for your personal communication over your mobile number and the former for your business messages over your landline number.

WhatsApp Business first made its debut back in September 2017 but only as a beta at that point and only select parties got to experience it. The lucky five are: Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the US. For now, WhatsApp Business is only available on Android, with no mention of when it will roll out for iOS as well.

Many of WhatsApp's more than 1 billion users already employ the mobile messaging application to communicate with small businesses, but entrepreneurs around the world will soon have a separate, dedicated app for chatting with their customers.

More than 80 percent of its small-business users in Brazil and India say they find the app helpful for communicating with customers, according to a study WhatsApp cited yesterday. To make things easier and to shorten response times, businesses can also take advantage of quick replies based on their previous written responses. And users will continue to have full control over the messages they receive, with the ability to block any number, including businesses, as well as report spam.

The business version of the app will be fully integrated with the web version so that it is easy to manage and also manage large quantities of incoming content. WhatsApp added that it aimed to develop new business apps that would "apply what we've learned helping people connect with each other to helping people connect with businesses that are important to them". Over time, they will be given confirmed accounts once it's been verified that the account phone number matches the business phone number. The Confirmed Account will further assure customers that they are talking to a legitimate business.

"What we saw was a need for businesses to have more efficient tools", WhatsApp chief operating officer Matt Idema said in an interview with Reuters.

WhatsApp launches android app for small businesses