People all around the world use WhatsApp to connect with small businesses they care about — from online clothing companies in India to auto parts stores in Brazil.
But WhatsApp was built for people and we want to improve the business experience. For example, by making it easier for businesses to respond to customers, separating customer and personal messages, and creating an official presence.
So today we’re launching WhatsApp Business — a free-to-download Android app for small businesses. Our new app will make it easier for companies to connect with customers, and more convenient for our 1.3 billion users to chat with businesses that matter to them. Here’s how:
· Business Profiles: Help customers with useful information such as a business description, email or store addresses, and website
· Messaging Tools: Save time with smart messaging tools — quick replies that provide fast answers to frequently asked questions, greeting messages that introduce customers to your business, and away messages that let them know you’re busy
· Messaging Statistics: Review simple metrics like the number of messages read to see what’s working
· WhatsApp Web: Send and receive messages with WhatsApp Business on your desktop
· Account Type: People will know that they’re talking to a business because you will be listed as a Business Account. Over time, 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.
Over 80% of small businesses in India and Brazil say WhatsApp helps them both communicate with customers and grow their business today (Source: Morning Consult study). And WhatsApp Business will make it easier for people to connect with them, and vice versa, in a fast and simple way.
WhatsApp Business is available today and free to download on Google Play in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S. The app is rolling out around the world in the coming weeks.