WhatsApp is already testing a Business app and now the APK file is ready for download. According to a report on AndroidPolice, while the APK for WhatsApp Business is listed on APKMirror, users can only try this out if WhatsApp has approved their business for testing. Users will remember that when WhatsApp had announced Business services were coming to the messaging platform, it had asked for a survey. Only businesses which have been approved via this survey can access this separate app for now.
BookMyShow in India has already confirmed it is a partner for WhatsApp’s Business program and has started sending ticket updates via the app to consumers. Now with the WhatsApp Business app ready for download, details about how it will work are also out in the public domain, thanks to the AndroidPolice report.
The report points out this business app will let account managers keep personal and business accounts separate. It also comes with landline support, though how this will work will be interesting to see. Regular WhatsApp doesn’t support landlines. In a market like India this particular feature could be really useful for small businesses, where there is a dependency on landlines.
Users can run the personal and business WhatsApp simultaneously, adds the report. The business owner can register a different mobile number for this particular app, according to the instructions. The WhatsApp Business app will have a setting for the Business where the user/account manager will be able to see the messages sent for customers, though the kind of analytics around it are basic.
It is currently limited to Messages sent, received, delivered, read, etc. There’s also the option of setting up business details like website, address, along with an ‘Away Message’ which will be auto-delivered to customers.
WhatsApp has indicated it could charge the larger enterprises for the Business solution. Given WhatsApp has 1.2 billion users, this will mean a big change, especially in the Indian market where the company has more than 200 million active users. WhatsApp has said it will allow users the option of blocking any service on the app and thus keeping out potential spam. The new Business angle could mean a major revenue source for WhatsApp, which is the world’s biggest instant messaging app.