WhatsApp Business was officially announced in September of 2016 but back then you had to sign up for a beta, register your interest, and hope to be picked to give it a try. Now the app is made official and it’s launching for Android in 5 countries to begin with, with a roll out “around the world” in the coming weeks. The lucky five are: Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the UK, and the US. Yes, the US, where everyone says they don’t use WhatsApp. I also find it odd that the launch post mentions how businesses in India and Brazil rely on WhatsApp a lot for their communications, but then these two countries aren’t among the list to get it first. Maybe WhatsApp wants to make sure things are smooth before rolling it out to its widest potential markets.
In case you don’t know what WhatsApp Business is, it’s a dedicated app (and service) for businesses, as the name says. As we discovered in our hands-on with the app, it offers several unique features: a compatibility with landline numbers (plus mobile as well) as opposed to a hard requirement for mobile numbers, a special badge and profile where businesses can put opening hours, a website, category, location, and a description, as well as statistics for their interactions, and some automated messages for greeting customers or sending quick replies or setting away answers letting them know they’ll be back to reply later. WhatsApp Business also received an update recently to add labels so that businesses could categorize certain messages for later.
If you want to give WhatsApp Business a try and you live in one of the five countries mentioned above, you can download the app from the Play Store at the widget below or from APK Mirror. The app can coexist with your regular WhatsApp app, so you can keep the latter for your personal communication over your mobile number and the former for your business messages over your landline number.