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Just days after its initial rollout, the WhatsApp Business app has now debuted in India. The app is aimed at make things easier for small companies to connect with their customers, and more convenient for the 1.3 billion WhatsApp users to chat with businesses that matter to them. The app will help customers with useful information such as a business description, email or store addresses, and website.
The beta version of the app was first officially announced back in September last year and tested with businesses like BookMyShow and MakeMyTrip in India since, the new app for SMEs is now available to download via Google Play in India also along with Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the UK, and the US. The app is free and will be rolled out across the world in the coming weeks, which is when it can be expected in India. The firm will also eventually have a version for Apple’s iPhone platform.
The Apps has features like smart messaging tools for quick replies that provide fast answers to frequently asked questions, greeting messages that introduce customers to your business, and away messages that let them know you’re busy. Whats app said during the launch that “People will know that they’re talking to a business because you will be listed as a Business Account. Over time, some businesses will have Confirmed Accounts once it’s been confirmed that the account phone number matches the business phone number,”. “People 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 company added.
The new business accounts are aimed at firms that receive a high volume of WhatsApp messages and need help keeping up, WhatsApp Chief Operating Officer Matt Idema said. “What we saw was a need for businesses to have more efficient tools,” Idema said in an interview with Reuters. Idema, who was a Facebook executive before he joined WhatsApp last year, said WhatsApp intends to charge businesses in some form in the future, but he said it was too soon to discuss when that would happen or what the future business services would look like.