Facebook-owned messaging app, WhatsApp, has started to roll out the other version of it — WhatsApp Business — to iOS users worldwide. WhatsApp Business is a different version of the messaging app that is made for business organisations to communicate with their customers rather than using mundane methods like SMS and regular calls.
The Android version for WhatsApp Business has been available to users since January last year. The site that reports basically on the WhatsApp app, WABetaInfo, reported that it found the iOS version of WhatsApp Business on the Mexican App Store. Later, users in a few countries, like France and Brazil, reported that they also have the iOS app available.
WhatsApp had introduced the Business version of the app in a limited number of countries. The app is now rolling out to all iOS users.
The app has a lot of features that are not present in the standard WhatsApp app —mostly features that are customisable. WhatsApp Business has the ability to automatically reply to a business’s customers texts. It does this with greeting messages and away messages set by the business.
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The app also has the ability to allow businesses to list their company details like email, street address, and opening times. The WhatsApp Business app is free for businesses to download and use. It also supports WhatsApp’s web interface.
WhatsApp Business app is not the same as WhatsApp Business API
The WhatsApp Business app is quite different from the WhatsApp Business API. The API is for much larger businesses to connect with customers and send out notifications like boarding passes and receipts. It is also a way for those large organisations to respond to customer inquiries.
It is good to know that the WhatsApp Business API is a paid service, unlike the WhatsApp Business and the standard WhatsApp. This is one of the ways WhatsApp is directly making money from the platform.
Businesses that use the WhatsApp Business API are charged for sending out notifications using the service. They also pay for responding to customer inquiries that are more than 24 hours old.
Currently, the WhatsApp Business App (not API) is available in Mexico, Brazil, the UK, Germany, the UK, Indonesia, France, and India. The company is gradually rolling it out to other countries in the weeks ahead.