After years of waiting and limited trials, businesses finally have their own WhatsApp messaging solution. The company yesterday launched WhatsApp Business, available on Android devices as a free download. As the name suggests, this version of Whatsapp will be suitable for large or small businesses around the globe.
The app provides some of the basic functionality you’d want from a business app. You can create a Business profile with additional information like a description, address, and contact information, and enable quick replies for answers to common questions. You can create greeting messages and view some simple analytics so you can see which messages are most effective.
According to a WhatsApp spokesperson, the current feature set will remain free in the long term, but WhatsApp plans on charging for additional capabilities in the future. Basically, it’ll eventually take on a freemium model, but at least the company doesn’t plan on taking away any existing features, and you are getting a fair bit of functionality to start.
The app is already up and running from the Google Play Store in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S. The rest of the world will be able to access the app “in the coming weeks.” For more on WhatsApp business, check out the web hub here.
The major features, as listed on the official blog of Whatsapp, are:
Quick replies let you save and reuse messages you frequently send so you can easily answer common questions in no time.
Create a business profile with helpful information for your customers like your address, business description, email address, and website.
Set an away message when you are unable to answer so your customers know when to expect a response. You can also create a greeting message to introduce your customers to your business.
Access important metrics such as how many of your messages were successfully sent, delivered, and read.