WhatsApp Business is now officially getting a global rollout, following an update from just last week which added several new features to the small business-oriented customer relations platform. That's according to a new blog post from the company behind the app, WhatsApp Inc. The application itself, for those who may not already be aware, is intended to give business owners or public relations employees an easy and familiar way to connect with consumers where those consumers are already active. Additionally, because there is a separate application for both the original WhatsApp and the Business variant, users can have an account on both instead of having to choose between a personal or business account. As of this writing, in addition to the previously launched Brazil and India regions, WhatsApp Business is now available in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S. Meanwhile, the rest of the world will also gain access to the app over the coming weeks.
As to the application itself, WhatsApp Business functions similarly to its sister app – WhatsApp – and the two even technically operate on the same social network. So businesses won't need to have a professional account on both to get in touch with consumers. However, the app also has several unique features meant to make that often stressful and complex interaction much easier. First, it is the only dedicated mobile solution for anybody to create a business profile for the WhatsApp platform, though users in the newly launched regions can also access the service through the web. Once that profile is created, it essentially helps other WhatsApp users find the business, even marking the profile as a business account. Business profiles contain pertinent company information such as a support email, phone number, physical address, description, images, and website URL. Moreover, consumers can message the business account directly and the representative behind the account can respond directly either through one of a series of pre-defined smart responses, a custom response, or a combination of both. Finally, WhatsApp Business will also provide key metrics about messages that should assist in discovering which communications are leading to the desired results.
Perhaps best of all, it is completely free to download WhatsApp Business and to set up an account. So business owners in the new regions – whether they want to check out WhatsApp for the first time or are looking to move to a more business-ready variation of WhatsApp – will probably want to hit the Google Play button below.