WhatsApp is preparing to enter the business arena, with the chat giant apparently readying a mobile app for businesses and implementing a system of verified accounts for companies.
The firm is allegedly currently working on an Android mobile app aimed at businesses, which was mentioned in a job listing (spotted by ) for a ‘technical specialist, SMB – product operations’, which states under job responsibilities: “Become an expert in the WhatsApp Business app for Android and a source of information to the Market team members.”
Other have also talked about the incoming app, although there’s not much detail on exactly what functionality it will incorporate. However, speculation points to the ability for businesses to send automated customer support messages.
So it would seem that Facebook – which owns WhatsApp – is trying to find a new angle to leverage the popularity of this chat service, and that angle appears to revolve around businesses and customer support.
WhatsApp has over a billion users across 180 countries, so clearly there are major monetization opportunities here.
Verification across the nations
And as mentioned, the company is also readying a system of ‘verified business accounts’ that does exactly what it says, meaning that WhatsApp will verify that a contact phone number is indeed tied to a specific business, clearly displaying its validity with a big green tick icon.
The support page which clarifies this information further notes: “WhatsApp will also let you know when you start talking to a business via yellow messages inside a chat.”
Users will be able to block businesses if they so wish, and prevent organizations from communicating with them.
The business verification system is currently limited to a small number of companies, as it’s just a pilot program right now, but we’re guessing it might not be long before this sees a wider rollout.
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).