After a long term waiting and testing in the beta stage, WhatsApp released there Business version of application. The App is officially now released for the Android Platform and is now available free. However the application is not rolled out in all the countries. Currently it is available to download from the Play Store in US, UK, Indonesia, Italy and Mexico. The application will be available in other countries in the coming weeks.
Coming to the features of the application, it is basically same as the normal WhatsApp messenger, howerver the app is meant for the business purpose, and additional business profile setup also added in it. Rather than creating a normal whatsapp account with name and mobile number, in WhatsApp business you have to verify your mobile and then need to provide a business name too. This business name is given at the account creation time and cannot be changed.
After setting the account. In the WhatsApp settings area, and Additional Business Settings option is also provided, in which we can manage the Business Details. In the Business Profile section, we can add the details of the business like category, address, description, business timing, email, website etc. All the details can be edited including profile picture, but as we mentioned earlier, the name cannot be changed. It will be same as like the one you added at the time of account creation.
Additional to this, there is also an auto responding option to this app. The application will automatically send reply message to users wile you are away, or can automatically send message when a user messages for the first time or can set quick message option using / symbol. You can add custom quick messages using the symbol.
eg. Just add one quick message “Check our latest post from our website” using the short-code /latest. Then from any chat, if your type the short-code, corresponding message will be automatically sent.
The color used in the application is also changed, in the normal WhatsApp, Green color was used and in the Business version it is Grey. That is the only notable change when we see the UI of the app. All other features are the same as the normal WhatsApp. WhatApp also provides the business account an option to verify their account as like the one in Facebook and Twitter.
According to a WhatsApp spokesperson, all the the current features now available in the application 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.
To know more about WhatsApp business, you can also check the official WhatsApp website too.