The world’s biggest instant messaging app with over a billion users, WhatsApp, is expected to soon roll out its business app for Android to South Africa.
WhatsApp Business is a free-to-download Android app for small businesses to allow for companies to connect with customers, and more convenient for the 1.3 billion WhatsApp users to chat with businesses.
The new app will allow for business profiles to be identified clearly, which will assist customers with useful information such as a business description, email or store addresses, and website.
Business owners who make use of WhatsApp Business will have access to smart messaging tools to provide quick replies to frequently asked questions, greeting messages that introduce customers to businesses, and "away messages" to let customers know when the company is busy.
WhatsApp Business users will also be able to review simple metrics like the number of messages read to understand which messages will resonate with their audience.
The WhatsApp Business app, like the original app, will allow business owners to access the app on desktop.
Over time WhatsApp said that some businesses will have Confirmed Accounts once it’s been confirmed that the account phone number matches the business phone number.
“People can continue using WhatsApp as usual - there's no need to download anything new. And 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 said in a blog post.
The app is yet to be rolled out in South Africa, but is expected to be launched within the coming weeks, as will all new WhatsApp features and emojis.
WhatsApp Business is available on Google Play in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the UK and the US.