WhatsApp is ramping up the way users can engage with businesses on its platform.
The Facebook-owned chat service is rolling out a new pilot program for verified business accounts, tagging some accounts with a green check symbol once their contact info is certified by WhatsApp.
WhatsApp is also reportedly looking to expand its offerings with a whole new app for businesses beyond just the mega popular chat platform, which boasts over a billion active users per day. The rumbles about a new business app are well-founded, as rumors go; dual reports from The Leaker and Business Insider point to a job post on Facebook’s Careers Page that hints at a new app explicitly, naming it directly.
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WhatsApp’s chat experience is different for users engaging with verified businesses — the company’s FAQ page says the messages will show up in yellow. Those messages won’t be able to be deleted, either, although there’s no reason given as to why.
The verifications have only been granted to a limited number of businesses for the pilot program, according to WhatsApp.
But the new verification feature could just be a lead up to an entirely new app made specifically for businesses to use. The job posting is for a technical specialist whose first responsibility is to “become an expert in the WhatsApp Business App for Android.” You can check out a partial screenshot of the post below.
Giving companies a new outlet to communicate directly to consumers could be huge for WhatsApp, as parent company Facebook has proved with its Pages system, although it remains to be seen if the new Android app will only be used for customer service.
Businesses in places like India where WhatsApp is widely used already use the platform for consumer outreach initiatives, so an entirely new app tailor-made for corporate accounts could be a logical next step.