WhatsApp beta tests standalone business app

Whatsapp officially reveals business account features, standalone app expected to launch soon

LAHORE: The Facebook-owned messaging app, WhatsApp, seems to be gearing towards launching a standalone app for its business users very soon. The app will boost various features including verified and non-verified accounts. In a new FAQ published on its website, the tech company confirmed that details regarding business accounts, including key features and a guide for users to distinguish between verified and non-verified accounts.

Many organisations have been taking advantage of WhatsApp as a form of informal communication internally and between clients and customers.

A UK based charity’s chairperson Tony Michael told Profit, “We have several different groups with over 1,200 people from around the world on WhatsApp. Emails are not feasible when communicating between teams continuously. WhatsApp is fast and the best thing about it is that everyone already has it, you do not have to ask people to signup for something new.” He added, “A dedicated app would help us manage groups much better and with the verified feature our followers will be able to distinguish between the original group and scammers.”

Only earlier this year, the business-focused verified profiles were officially rolled out, allowing companies, with accounts featuring a tick mark as a sign of authentication, to communicate with users.

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In the recent FAQ the company told its users, “While chatting with businesses, you can check your contact’s profile to see which type of account they are using. A verified account has a green checkmark badge on its profile.” It adds, “A business account with a grey question mark badge in its profile means the account is using the WhatsApp Business app but has not been confirmed nor verified by WhatsApp.”

The rumours about WhatsApp’s business app have been circulating the tech industry however the company confirmed that the app is currently being tested by a private group of testers and WhatsApp Business app will be introduced as a standalone app.

The app is currently available on Play Store for beta testing and the description reads “As a test partner for ‘WhatsApp Business’, you have early access to a wide range of new features that we have 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.”

The app includes interesting features such as such as auto responses, creating a business profile, chat migration, and analytics and will come with a different logo as well.

“We also provide you with the tools you need to control your experience with businesses. You can block business accounts and report them as spam at any time, right within the chat,” it was highlighted in the new FAQ.

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Eleazar Bhatti
The writer currently serves as the Content Manager at Profit by Pakistan Today and is an economics graduate from Leeds Business School in the UK. He can be reached at [email protected] or at twitter.com/eleazarbhatti.
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