The Facebook owned company is now testing the model with a handful of private businesses with no official announcement of the rolling out dates nor the prices it intends to charge businesses for access to this service. The first one is "a free Whatsapp business app" which will be specifically for small businesses as well as companies looking for Whatsapp based business solutions. "That's part of the reason why we are spending a lot of time there to understand what people and businesses want from WhatsApp". There's still details to be worked out before WhatsApp opens up its business app.
WhatsApp will address those concerns by allowing businesses to create verified accounts on the platform, drawing inspiration from Twitter. "Over a year ago our Personal Shopping team realised that their EIPs were constantly on WhatsApp and preferred to receive product suggestions and complete transactions via the app, rather than to check their emails or log in to the service".
Whatsapp being the second most popular messaging app has more than 1 billion users. The company says that the ways businesses and consumers engage using the app are "pretty rudimentary". Small businesses can also send customers updates of various kinds via the WhatsApp Business app, which targets small businesses.
The prospect of more widespread use of WhatsApp at work could pose problems for enterprise IT admins because the messaging software is clearly aimed at individual users with no focus yet on corporate security or compliance features.
In an interview to Wall Street Journal, WhatsApp's chief operating officer (COO) Matt Idema also confirmed the company will charge larger enterprises in the future, though they don't have an exact model figured out.
WhatsApp, which was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for a staggering US$22 billion, will launch a service for large businesses, complete with green tick verification badges and a host of other communication tools. Companies like 1mg and BookMyShow are now testing the tools. Users must "opt in" to be contacted by a business, a WhatsApp spokeswoman said.
"This is just the beginning of what we want to offer for businesses and our users, and we " e excited for what's to come", said WhatsApp, which boasts more than a billion daily users.