While Facebook Messenger holds the coveted title for the most popular messaging app in the US and a few other countries, WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in the world. With over 1.5 billion active users, WhatsApp is the most preferred messaging app in Great Britain, South Asia, South America, and Africa.
The problem for Facebook, the parent organisation of WhatsApp, is that it’s harder to monetise on the popularity of this app. Facebook is known to earn ad revenues from its other popular platforms – Facebook and Instagram. However, messaging is not easy to monetise. After all, users of WhatsApp aren’t likely to prefer feed-style ads in their private messaging conversations.
The launch of WhatsApp Business
Facebook introduced WhatsApp Business last year in an attempt to monetise the popular messaging app. The WhatsApp business version has various tools and features that make it easy for small and medium businesses to interact with existing and potential customers. These tools make it easy to sort, respond and automate message replies.
Image via Google Play
Launched early last year, the WhatsApp Business app is free and is available for download for Android. In a recent post on its blog, WhatsApp revealed that there are over five million businesses all over the world, using WhatsApp Business.
To celebrate the first anniversary of the launch of the Business app, WhatsApp has rolled out several new features, specifically for the desktop and web versions of the app.
Here’s a list of the new features:
– Quick Replies: As the name implies, these are quick replies to common questions asked by your customers. To send an immediate response, tap the “/” symbol on your keyboard, select from a set of predefined quick replies and click send.
This is of great assistance to businesses as most customers have similar queries. For instance, if you run an apparel brand, instead of typing sizing specifications to each customer, you can use this shortcut.
– Labels: For easy organisation. You can now organise your chats and contacts with names, so it’s easy for you to retrieve them again when needed.
– Chat List Filtering: This provides an easier way to manage chats using filters. Some of the top-used filters include groups, unread messages, broadcast lists and so on. This helps you to pick out and respond to particular chats efficiently.
WhatsApp states that the availability of these features on desktops and web platforms will make it easy for businesses to reply and respond to their customers, rather than using the limited space of a mobile device.
Why these changes matter for businesses?
As you can see, WhatsApp is putting in a lot of efforts to appeal to business users. With more and more businesses including WhatsApp as a preferred mode of communication, these new features make it easy for enterprises to streamline customer communications from a desktop or laptop.
The best part – WhatsApp Business is entirely free to use, just like the regular WhatsApp Messenger app. Other tools like Greeting messages, away messages, and auto-replies are only available on WhatsApp Business and not the regular WhatsApp Messenger app.