The growth of Whatsapp:
WhatsApp was first launched on the App Store in November 2009 and shortly became multi-platform supporting all Android, Blackberry and Windows phones. It has now acquired over a billion users with minimal marketing. Initially an iPhone-only app, it was when a positive response to push notifications was observed among users when friends updated their status, the idea for Whatsapp V2.0 was born.
Although there are many other messaging apps, Whatsapp stood out by sticking to its core functionality, i.e. messaging, and soon became a popular replacement to the conventional SMS app. With an easy-to-use interface, users can create their account using just their mobile number, without any need for complicated usernames and passwords.
The voice messaging feature was introduced in 2013 and offered a cheaper communication alternative to users around the world.
On Jan 18th, it was formally announced that a new Whatsapp for business will be launched and will be free to download. Its main focus is making Business-to-Consumer(B2C) interaction easier for companies and consumers.
The app will provide useful information such as business description, contact details, address and website. There are a set of smart messaging tools that are integrated into the app, which helps companies to send quick replies to users, send greeting messages to introduce the business and away messages during non-working hours.
These features help companies build better relationships with their consumers by improving user experience. The BETA version of the app was launched in September last year and the full version is currently available in in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, U.K. and the U.S, and is soon rolling out in other countries as well. In India, the BETA version was tested on Bookmyshow and Makemytrip.
The app is available for android devices only and will be offered to other platforms in the future.
How to use:
Whatsapp Business can be downloaded for free on the Google Play Store and does not contain any in-app purchases. Users can continue whatsapp as usual and will have complete control over the messages they receive. They can also block any number, including businesses and report spam as well.
The logo of the app has also been modified, which will help users easily recognize messages from business accounts. However, businesses will have to download the new app and register themselves to get in touch with their customers.
Companies can access messaging statistics for a selected period of time in the new Whatsapp business. The new app is bound to become a valuable asset for enterprises to improve online presence, customer satisfaction and grow business.