Similar to its parent company, WhatsApp is also looking at ways to make its platform suitable for businesses. WhatsApp for business is expected to make it easier for businesses to interact with their customers. In what comes as an interesting development, WhatsApp is reportedly planning to introduce the new feature through the shrinking Windows Phone platform. In the latest update version 2.17.234 for Windows Phone, WhatsApp has made a small change to its service which adds business-friendly capabilities to the messaging app.
According to wabetainfo, after the update, Windows Phone users will not be allowed to use a check mark character in their profile name to avoid confusion. The tick mark is indicative of verified profiles as seen on Twitter and Facebook and on WhatsApp it will be used to denote a business account that is verified.
The report further suggests that WhatsApp is set to release a separate business-only version of their app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone. This app, called Small and Medium Business, is also said to come with few restrictions as compared to the regular WhatsApp service. One of the restrictions will disable business organizations to change their account name which they choose upon signing up for the service. Furthermore, the name of the business will be character specific and users will only be allowed to use a specific length name. ALSO READ: Instagram and Facebook are the network of choice for cyberbullies in 2017: Report
Apart from this, businesses will also have to specify website and email address in their profile. The report further states that WhatsApp will also take care of spam messages by businesses. WhatsApp will also use template technology to allow automatic translation of structured messages from businesses, allowing them to support users all around the world. The feature could be used by businesses to keep users informed of hotel bookings, flight delays and more.
Back in April, WhatsApp official said that India will play a “crucial role” for the product. Spokesperson, Matt Steinfeld, said, “We are definitely in building the product phase. So, what you will see over the year is different tests, both for small and large businesses, and figuring out what’s a good experience for these businesses on WhatsApp and India is going to play a crucial role in that.” ALSO READ: WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption limits checking objectionable content online: Ravi Shankar Prasad
WhatsApp isn’t the only company focusing on helping small businesses in India. Facebook had introduced ‘Facebook at Work’ aimed at small enterprises, while Google too introduced an initiative called ‘Digital Unlocked’, with the aim of bringing small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) online.
In other news, WhatsApp recently announced that it has 1 billion daily active users globally and that 55 billion messages are exchanged through its platform daily. It further revealed that over 4.5 billion photos are shared each day, and about a billion videos are exchanged daily.