On January 18th, 2017, WhatsApp officially announced the launch of “WhatsApp Business” a free-to-download Android app that will enable small businesses to easily and conveniently connect with customers.
WhatsApp Business which was initially rolled out in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S. is now available today and free to download on Google Play in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa.
The App which targets small businesses has key features like dedicated business profiles for details like email address, business description, store addresses, and website. Businesses will also save time with smart messaging tools that allow quick replies that provide fast answers to frequently asked questions, greeting messages that introduce customers to your business, and away messages that let them know you’re busy.
Over time, WhatsApp says that some businesses will have Confirmed Accounts once it’s been confirmed that the account phone number matches the business phone number.
WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Messenger apps can be used on the same device and registered with different numbers. While other people can continue using WhatsApp as usual with no need to download anything new and still retain full control over the messages they receive and with the ability to block any number, including businesses, as well as report spam.
For the last two years, WhatsApp has increasingly become one of the fastest growing communication platforms in Africa competing with the traditional voice and SMS operated by mobile operators.
The App has already hit more than 1 million downloads on Android.