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WhatsApp launches business platform

Posted on January 22, 2018

 

Facebook-owned messaging platform WhatsApp has recently launched a new app aimed at small business owners.

The app is called WhatsApp Business and is a standalone app that is completely separate to the regular WhatsApp platform. The app works in pretty much the same way as the main platform, but its main purpose is to connect businesses with their customers as opposed to family and friends.

WhatsApp Business is set to make it easier for business owners to communicate with their customer base and to help them manage their orders. Users of the platform will need to create a business profile and will be asked to add details such as the company’s website, its location and other contact information.

Once a profile is up and running, the business will then be able to message their customers, update them on any orders and answer any questions the customer may have.

According to the company, WhatsApp Business will allow users to have a business presence within WhatsApp, enabling them to communicate with their customers in a more efficient way that will help them to grow their business.

The logo for WhatsApp Business is similar to the regular WhatsApp logo in terms of the colour scheme. It will feature the app’s green bubble, but instead of the white telephone handset within it, it will simply feature a white capital ‘B’.

In November last year, a fake version of the business platform appeared on the Google Play store and was so convincing that some people were duped into installing it.

In order to clear up any confusion surrounding the WhatsApp Business app, the company has published an article on its FAQ pages informing users of how they can interact with businesses. On this page, the company explains that users can check the profile of the person/company they are interacting with to check what type of account they are using.

Business accounts will appear with a green check badge in their profiles to indicate that they has been verified by WhatsApp as an authentic brand. Businesses that appear with a grey badge have been confirmed as using a telephone number that matches the number owned by the business the account claims to be. Furthermore, an account with a grey question mark means that the account has not been verified with WhatsApp.

The company advises users to be wary of businesses with the grey question mark badge in its profile if it contacts them, even if it seems to be associated with a company known to the user. Users can block and report businesses to WhatsApp Business in the chat menu options.

WhatsApp Business is currently available to Android users in the US, the UK, Italy, Mexico and Indonesia.

Alan Littler
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