In a WhatsApp blog, the company stated that it is introducing tools to help people and businesses communicate with each other. Following the launch of the WhatsApp Business app, the blog stated that the company had heard from people that they find it easier to chat with a business team rather than connecting through calls or emails. Therefore, the company announced today (Aug. 1) is expanding its “support for businesses that need more powerful tools to communicate with their customers.”
The blog post noted three ways businesses can connect. One was to request helpful information. Those who need, say, shipping confirmation or a boarding pass, can give their mobile number to a business on a website, through their app or in store so they can get information on WhatsApp.
A second was to start a conversation. If a user sees a ‘click-to-chat’ button on a website or Facebook ad, they can then quickly message a business.
The third option is to get support. Said the blog: “Some businesses may provide real-time support on WhatsApp to answer questions about their products or help you resolve an issue.”
The company stated that the approach allows users to have full control over the messages they receive, but that businesses will pay to send certain messages, which will be done so chats don’t get cluttered. Also, messages “will remain end-to-end encrypted and you can block any business with the tap of a button.”
It continued: “We will bring more businesses onto WhatsApp over a period of time. To do so, we will work directly with a few hundred businesses and a select number of companies that specialize in managing customer communications.”
The news comes just days after Facebook’s earnings were poorly received by Wall Street, sending the stock plummeting. While Facebook Messenger also has a similar feature, it has been slow to catch on, so the company is hoping the WhatsApp business tools will spur financial growth and user acceptance.