WhatsApp declared many months ago that they were testing new ways to allow to all WhatsApp users to communicate with businesses, using their services.
This possibility does not mean that we will see ads or spam in WhatsApp. The user can choose to receive messages from specific businesses or continuing to use WhatsApp normally as always, without be disturbing.
As a matter of fact, also who will decide to receive messages from businesses won’t be disturbed or annoyed, because he will decide to receive only messages that he required, having the possibility to disable the reception and turn to “the normal life” on WhatsApp.
But precisely.. what are we talking about?
Let’s go see together all information we were able to fetch in these weeks.
SMALL AND MEDIUM BUSINESS APP
As mentioned on Twitter many months ago, WhatsApp is working on a second application called Small and Medium Business, that will be available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone platforms.
NEW WHATSAPP PLATFORM FOUND:
WhatsApp Small and Medium Business for Android.
Note that this is a new application and it's not available yet.
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) April 28, 2017
Businesses will have to use this second app on their smartphones in order to benefit of all business features that WhatsApp was working on in these two years, but they can also keep the main WhatsApp app installed to use it for their private life. So both apps can exist in a smartphone.
About users, they will be able to use the same WhatsApp app in order to communicate with businesses.
The communication will be very easy also between different languages, because WhatsApp supports now structured messages.
A structured message is an advanced type of message that contains a lot of information, including text, image, action items, and the translation of the message, as already mentioned on Twitter.
Structured WhatsApp messages have several templates: one of these is the translation of the message in the user language …
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) January 11, 2017
Thanks to the translated message, users won’t have problems to communicate to businesses.
WhatsApp will automatically download in background a structured messages pack that contains information about the language of the user every 31 days in order to update translations: if WhatsApp will fail to download a structured messages pack (due to connection issues), it will retry to download it after 5 minutes.
Two business types exist.
Verified business: its name is directly verified by WhatsApp. When a business is verified, you will see a green badge next to its name, and the “✅” emoji in its push name, so you will understand that it’s official.
Unverified business: it can use all business features, but its name hasn’t been verified by WhatsApp yet. In this case, WhatsApp will indicate to users who it may be.
Android (Note: WABetaInfo is not really verified. The badge has been added later in order to help you to understand how it looks):
About the first case, WhatsApp won’t allow to businesses to add in the push name the “✅” emoji, because it may confuse users about the autenticity of the business.
The name has to also respect the WhatsApp policy, otherwise it will be immediately rejected.
So, businesses have a name, but they can choose also a profile photo, that’s optional.
When a business chooses a name (that cannot be longer than a certain number of characters), it cannot be changed. Instead the profile photo can be modified at any time without limitations.
A business has to also insert its website and email address in its info, in order to have a very detailed profile that users can view.
Businesses will have also some tools to manage their account, for example they will be able to view detailed statistics since they have installed WhatsApp, for example how many sent messages have been read and successfully delievered.
We talked how the business app will work, but what services can a business offer to users?
For example, thanks to the WhatsApp official blog, we know that bank will be able to communicate with users about potentially fraudulent transactions and airline will bel able to notify their clients about delayed flights, but now we know something more about services that a business can offer.
For example, you will be surely able to receive information about all your rides, in particular about carpooling, if you will want.
This is the first service that WhatsApp is working on to implement on WhatsApp Small and Medium Business thanks to the help to some specific companies.
Note that the business app and services haven’t been publicly announced yet.