WhatsApp officially announced 'WhatsApp for Business' last month with plans to charge for services in the future. The move was seen as the first major step from the Facebook-owned social messaging startup to start monetising its platform. BookMyShow is one of the first businesses to join 'WhatsApp for Business' and IANS reported that it will send ticket confirmations as WhatsApp messages by default.
At the time of launch, WhatsApp confirmed that businesses need to register via a separate app and it started authenticating businesses via a closed pilot program. In its blog pots, WhatsApp said, "The service is integrated with the regular app and will feature distinct business contacts with a verified 'tick' badge." The service is still in testing and Android Police has more information about 'WhatsApp for Business' app.
Interestingly, WhatsApp for Business will be a standalone app and business users can build their business profile on the app. It will enable easier migration of current business number to WhatsApp business. Since WhatsApp for Business is a standalone app separate from WhatsApp, users can have both the apps on one phone with different numbers. There is also an option to integrate landline numbers with a WhatsApp Business account.
Android Police notes that the app looks similar to regular WhatsApp and only beta testers can download and use it. It has the same icon and one big noticeable change is the phone icon being replaced by a big letter B. The app includes four tabs: camera, chats, status and calls. The big changes are all buried underneath the settings as Business settings and Statistics.
Businesses need to set Business profile, which includes the name of the business followed by a verified or unverified badge and any other data they would have entered. Further, businesses can also select the category that technically describes their work. WhatsApp for Business app can be used to set automated responses for away messages. The messages can be personalised with text and emoji. Regular WhatsApp users will get an alert when they try to chat with a business for the first time. Of course, all conversations are end-to-end encrypted like its consumer-centric platform.