Facebook Announces WhatsApp for Business

Mark Lombard

Mark Lombard

Mark is the founder & CEO at bragjob.com.

WhatsApp announces new business version.

Facebook announced that it will launch a new version of WhatsApp in the not too distant future. Instead of the popular messenger app the public uses currently, big corporates will pay to reach their customer base. WhatsApp will initially offer a free version to small-to-medium sized business. The messaging giant is yet to outline specific details on the above, however. What we do know is that businesses will be able to use “business” WhatsApp to send consumers notifications like delivery notifications and flight details.

Facebook seems to be trying to keep their word not to include traditional ads in the app.

The nitty-gritty

WhatsApp is exploring several versions of the app for business monetization. This includes chat rooms equipped with chatbots programmed to automatically provide information to consumers. The company wants to facilitate businesses to keep in touch with hundreds of customers from a single smartphone. This could range from customers placing orders via the app or browsing the latest lookbooks of their favourite fashion retailer.

Large companies might pay extra if they want more than one employee to have access to the new application to communicate with their customers. It could also charge for artificial intelligence bot functionality or e-commerce transactions.

Women checking her WhatsApp on her smartphone

WhatsApp officially announced its closed pilot programme for verifying business accounts with a green chekmark not unlike the blue tick you would see on official Twitter accounts. This will distinguish these accounts from personal and fake ones. The app started testing verified accounts for businesses a week ago, according to an article on TechCrunch.

The article goes on to explain that unlike with personal accounts, the business’s name will appear in the app even if their number is not programmed into a smartphone. Like personal accounts however, businesses can blocked.

WhatsApp confirmed that “businesses will only be able to contact customers who have provided their phone numbers and agreed to be contacted over WhatsApp.”