For months now rumors have been buzzing about the possibility of WhatsApp allowing businesses to open accounts to hold chats with users. This is now a reality what with the announcement of WhatsApp Business on the blog of the world’s most popular chat app. This new app is now being tested by several firms and appears to be the solution to WhatsApp’s longstanding monetization problem.
The rundown on WhatsApp Business
The possibility of a WhatsApp package for businesses took shape as a way to take advantage of an app with a gigantic user base (more than a billion people use it every day) that till now it’s had no way of getting any revenue out of. The business app was a pretty logical solution and now it’s a reality that we have a ton of details about.
The first thing to note about business accounts is that they’ll have a green verification symbol beside their name to indicate that the number belongs to a business account. You’ll surely recognize this from other networks like Facebook and Twitter, where the verification tick differentiates certain accounts from standard ones. The name it shows up with among your contacts will be the one you assign to it should you opt to do so, or the one they’ve set otherwise. In addition when we’re talking with a company over WhatsApp you’ll get a yellow message within the chat informing you that you’re chatting with a verified account.
A great concern of basically everybody is avoiding spam, and WhatsApp has assured us all that we’ve got nothing to fear in that regard with this WhatsApp Business service. If you don’t want to talk to a company or they start aggressively spamming you, you can block them just as you would any normal contact. Great news for avoiding the normal blitz of unwanted publicity we usually get from businesses by email or phone.
WhatsApp Business will have two models based on company size
Though we have yet to find out what the business rates will be, it’s already been confirmed that there will be two tiers depending on the size of the firm using WhatsApp Business: a free model for small and local enterprises to get a verified number along with a few as-yet-unannounced messaging options, and a larger package for bigger firms that will offer a greater range of options.
KLM Airlines has been one of the first companies to confirm their presence on WhatsApp Business using the package for large companies. The video they’ve released reveals some features like the possibility of receiving details on purchased flights, your boarding pass, and real-time flight information via WhatsApp. Plus they’ve announced 24/7 customer service in several different languages. All that said, we still have no info on the costs of using these business services over WhatsApp.