tech2 News StaffOct 09, 2017 08:18:12 IST
WhatsApp for Business has leaked out in all its glory giving us a glimpse at how it will function. The leak also explains the differences between both, WhatsApp for Business and regular WhatsApp.
The app is listed as ‘WhatsApp Business’ on Google Play Store separate from the usual WhatsApp app. The company has changed the logo of the app to include a B inside the green conversation bubble instead of the calling symbol. One thing to note here is that the app is still in beta stage and the beta version is limited to a private group of app testers.
The app was officially announced almost a month back along with the information that WhatsApp is testing the app with select small businesses in India. According to the leak on Android Police, WhatsApp had added a survey to enrol potential small businesses to test the app. The survey was posted on the FAQ page for WhatsApp Business when the web page went live. According to the report, the company is asking its testers for feedback about everything from new features like automatic responses, message analytics to basic functionality like account setup and the migration of data from regular WhatsApp.
The new app comes with a number of new features that include chat migration, the creation of a Business Profile, Auto Responses and Analytics. The app will ask you the ‘Business Description’, ‘Website’, ‘Address’, and other things when you are creating the profile. You can add more than one website in the profile and the app asks you to ‘Choose a category’ for your business profile.
One of the most interesting aspects of WhatsApp Business is the option for ‘chat Migration’. The company has thought about a number of scenarios about how any business owner will use the app which includes using one phone and one app, using one phone and two apps where WhatsApp Business uses different mobile number, one phone and two apps where WhatsApp Business uses different landline number and last but not the least, using two mobile phones, one for regular WhatsApp and the other one for WhatsApp Business.
Users can even completely migrate their personal account of a business account if they don’t want to use the contact number for personal conversations. If the users want to use both regular app and the Business app at the same time on the same phone, they need to ensure that the number they are using on both apps are separate from each other.
The interesting part here is that business owners can also register on the Business app using the landline number of their business making it more convenient for users to use the personal account without the need to combine the account. This also upgrades the landlines to support multimedia messages using the business app without the need to actually do anything. Last scenario where the business owner uses two phones, one for his personal account and the other account for his business is the ideal way for the user to keep both his accounts separate.
The number of permutation and combinations along with the ability to separate business from personal is a welcome change for small business owners who would otherwise be bombarded with personal messages and messages from clients at the same time.
WhatsApp has also added a new feature where the app can provide auto responses which act as ‘Away messages’ when any customer sends you messages outside the business hours. You can customise the text in the ‘Away Messages’ along with any predefined schedule for the number of days. The company is still working to improve this feature to make it more intuitive.
This feature is still a work in progress but business owners can send important statistics like the number of messages sent, received, delivered, and read. The section still looks quite basic without any significant changes.
Talking about the customer side of the business app, if a regular user messages any business profile contact number, WhatsApp chat windows will inform the user that the conversation is end-to-end encrypted and that it that business is verified or unverified depending on the status of the business.
One key thing to keep in mind is the fact that both apps look and work in a similar way. The design aesthetics and UI is similar for Business and the regular app. We managed to download the WhatsApp for Business app but it seems that the registration for Business profile is linked to a limited number of mobile numbers of beta testers that WhatsApp has recorded in its database.
WhatsApp Business is poised to a good start along with the integration of UPI payment system in the app that the company is currently working on making it the focal point of interaction between business owners and customers.