WhatsApp for Business is (sort of) out!
'Can you do WhatsApp?'
This may be one of the most common questions we get. The whole world lives on WhatsApp and yet, unfortunately, we cannot build chatbots on there.
But, there has been new development!
Yesterday, WhatsApp announced the release of their 'WhatsApp for Business' app in select areas of the world (Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States).
What can WhatsApp for Business do?
At the moment, its features are limited. Aimed at small businesses, WhatsApp for Business helps companies interact with their customers via the world's number one messaging app.
WhatsApp has been onboarding and verifying businesses since the release of the pilot version of the app back in September 2017.
As it stands now, a business can set up an account, add details like opening hours and images of their products, and be ready to interact. Think of it as a business' Facebook page. This also helps inform the users that they are talking to a business as opposed to a friend.
So, is it just about chatting? Not really, there is more.
Businesses can set up instant replies, see statistics about their customer interactions, use a desktop version of the app, and more.
It seems the guys at WhatsApp also have big plans for the future, notably for enterprise business. Unfortunately, we don't know anything about these plans just yet, apart from the fact that they exist.
'So, can you do WhatsApp?'
Well, no, not yet.
But, this is a major step in the right direction.
The build chatbots on WhatsApp, we will need more than business profiles (APIs would be a good first step).
This remains great news for everyone involved, and we can't wait for the next development!