Did you guys know that WhatsApp has this little gizmo known as ‘WhatsApp Business’? If you’re sitting there going huh what on earth is that… Well, same. Tbh, I didn’t even hear of this whole WhatsApp Business affair until my boss told me about it this morning. But as the name suggests, it’s pretty much Whatsapp for business.
And I guess this makes me the best person to tell you guys what on earth WhatsApp Business is because I understand your confusion and won’t bombard you with techspeak.
So here are 10 facts about WhatsApp Business for you!
1. What is it?
WhatsApp Business is basically just what it sounds like – an app for small businesses to use.
It is exclusively for Android (so far), and it’s free of charge.
The idea behind it is to allow businesses to be able to interact with their customers easily.
It’s not always ideal to mix business life with personal life, so having a separate app purely to conduct business is something to get excited over!
2. They have rolled out in Singapore!
At the start of the year, WhatsApp launched its WhatsApp Business to markets in Indonesia, US, UK, Mexico and Italy.
Right now, it’s slowly rolling this app out to the international market.
And in Singapore, they launched it on the Google Playstore on May 2! In just over two weeks, this app has gotten over 70,000 reviews rating it 4.4 stars.
So if you’re a small business, or a customer wanting to reach out, get on the app!
Just don’t forget you gotta be an Android user, okay?
3. They have advanced tools.
WhatsApp Business isn’t just a fancy new version of the WhatsApp Messenger we all have (and use).
The app will have tools to automate, sort and respond to customers that businesses can turn on and off as they please.
For example, Whatsapp for business allows businesses to send automated greeting messages and replies to frequently asked questions, as well as see messaging statistics.
Basically, it’s like Facebook Messenger for businesses and customers to have an official platform to interact.
WhatsApp Business app will also be available for use on the desktop, making it easier for businesses to keep up with the volume of messages, as well as have a bigger interface to enable ease of interaction.
I don’t know about you but if my job was to reply to thousands of queries on my tiny little phone…I’d start job-hunting!
4. But how do I know if the businesses are legit?
Just like popular social media (think Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, etc), businesses on WhatsApp Business will be verified.
Verified, legitimate businesses will have a green checkmark so you won’t have to worry about their authenticity.
Businesses have actually been getting their green checkmarks since the pilot program in 2017, meaning that even before the app is rolled out, they already have a number of businesses approved and ready to go.
For businesses that don’t yet have their green checkmark, they will be listed as ‘Business Accounts’ until they get to become ‘Confirmed Accounts’ after WhatsApp verifies them!
5. Does this mean I am going to get spammed?
Well, not really…
This is how it works. The business needs this special app to be a business account and keep in touch with its customers.
And if you ever get spam, you can block numbers and businesses as per usual.
6. You can’t use WhatsApp Messenger and WhatsApp Business on the same phone.
If you read the description of this app on the Google Playstore (this is a PSA to all those who didn’t read it, and also to iOS users), you will know that you can’t use the two apps on the same phone…
Unless they are two different accounts with two different numbers.
I imagine that this is because WhatsApp would want to separate businesses and customers very distinctly.
Because the new app has extra features that businesses would want to help them “have a business presence on WhatsApp, communicate more efficiently with their customers, and help them grow their business“.
So if you’re a business and you want to join, just make sure your WhatsApp Business app account is linked to a different number.
Plus, you can finally separate your work life from your personal life. Super useful for salespeople especially.
Now you can ask your boss to get you a separate number liao 😉
7. Your business profile.
One of the key features of this app that businesses should be careful (and meticulous) about would be their business profile.
You need a good profile to relate to your customers (it’s like dressing up for an interview or a presentation)!
You can add up to two different URLs that will take the customer to any official business websites you have, put in your business location so customers know where to find you. This will let them directly find you on Google Maps btw, and get your opening timings too.
This is very important for businesses because this is the information the customer will rely on when they are trying to get to know you/locate you.
8. Making money from the app.
Nothing in this world is free.
We all wish it was, but yep, it’s really not.
So if the Whatsapp Business app is free, how is the CEO going to make even more money?
Well, even though the app is free for now, there are plans to charge businesses for some of the functions and tools in the future.
But don’t worry, they haven’t figured out the monetisation part yet.
Did you know that Facebook spent about US$22 billion acquiring WhatsApp? Guess it needs to make that money back somehow…
So business owners, just keep this in mind! Not all the tools or functions will be free moving forward.
If I were to guess, WhatsApp Business might launch ‘Premium Functions’ with a monthly/yearly subscription fee after doing market research from the initial app launch.
What do you think?
9. Checking out the competition.
WhatsApp Business isn’t the first of its kind on the market, actually.
Apple’s Business Chat connects customers with businesses via iMessage, where they can not only interact but even do transactions via ApplePay!
RCS messaging allows businesses to create digital campaigns and update/interact with their customers with all the latest happenings.
Facebook Messenger is probably the most common amongst the layman and tech noobs (like me), where you can chat with business pages on Facebook and follow their page for all the updates.
So how will WhatsApp Business fare in the presence of competitors? Only time will tell.
But since there are currently 1.5 billion users on WhatsApp Messenger and over 3 million (and growing) on WhatsApp business, it can be relatively safe to assume that this app will fare pretty well.
10. Privacy and security
WhatsApp has had a lot of backlash regarding privacy and security.
It’s normal, right?
I mean, I don’t want anyone reading my private messages and I’m one person that has nothing to hide!
So what happens with WhatsApp Business? Is this app secure?
I can’t say for sure…
WhatsApp’s website has made it clear that conversations that go on between businesses and customers are protected by their infamous end-to-end encryption such that even the company will not be able to access the data.
But, they also have cautioned saying that there is no guarantee as to how many people on the business’s end are reading/handling/storing data.
So…how secure/private it is?
And there you go! 10 things about WhatsApp for business…but only for Android users (for now…there are plans to launch it on iOS but nothing’s confirmed).
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