Social media giant Facebook, which has so far kept WhatsApp out of the revenue-churning loop, now is all set to tap the money-making potential of its instant messaging app. Whatsapp Business, which is in a testing phase, might soon be open for users.
At present, WhatsApp for Business app is being tested by a private group of users. It will be a standalone app and different from regular Whatsapp.
WhatsApp has shared details, the three different types of business accounts that are likely to be present on its platform and how users can identify them, in the new FAQ.
A business account with a gray question mark badge in its profile means the account is using the WhatsApp Business app. Users can block business accounts and report them as spam at any time, right within the chat, WhatsApp added.
Once it will be done with testing, WhatsApp Business will have letter “B” inside the green conversation bubble. It has new features such as auto responses, creating a business profile, chat migration and analytics.
As per description on Play Store, as a test partner for ‘WhatsApp Business’, you have early access to a wide range of new features that we’ve built with you in mind. As you experiment with what this new app has to offer, please share your experiences with us so that we can improve the product.
WhatsApp partners in business
In September, WhatsApp had officially announced that it is working out ways to connect its users with the businesses.
Online ticketing brand BookMyShow had announced in September that it is one of the brands in India participating in the WhatsApp business pilot. MakeMyTrip and Goibibo are some of the brands that are part of this pilot in India. Cab-hailing firm Ola, hotel rooms aggregator OYO and airlines Spicejet and Indigo are companies, with whom instant messaging app mulling discussion for business collaboration.
The company is also slated to integrate Unified Payment Interface (UPI) for enabling payment for various services through the app.
WhatsApp game changer move
This could prove to be a game changer for its parent company Facebook, as WhatsApp has over 1.3 billion monthly active users. However, the company has not shared details regarding its monetisation.
In India, WhatsApp has over 200 million active monthly users or over 15% of WhatsApp’s total user base, this year. According to the co-founder of the app, it will allow small businesses to send targeted messages and videos. It certainly would also be a great opportunity for businesses and a lot of SMBs are already using the platform for communication.
There are already many companies using the service of the instant messaging app. The Tiffin Carrier, a food delivery service in Assam, gets around 90% of its sales through the messaging app. The company founder said around 80% of his conversations with clients are on WhatsApp.
WhatsApp is in its eight years of existence. Facebook bought it for $19 billion in 2014.