WhatsApp, with its daily user base of over a billion people, could become an integral point in customer service initiatives, especially in areas where it's already being used for that objective. "We've heard stories of shopkeepers who use WhatsApp to stay in touch with hundreds of customers from a single smartphone, and from people who are unsure about whether or not a business on WhatsApp is authentic".
Verified accounts will have a green badge next to them, while messages received from businesses will be in yellow.
WhatsApp announced that it will be testing in the coming months new tools for businesses to take advantage of the messaging app.
WhatsApp said a year ago it would eventually begin testing tools that could let users communicate with companies via secure messages, part of a broader overhaul to make the service more business friendly.
WhatsApp will offer verification for businesses on its platform so customers know a firm is legitimate.
"We do intend on charging businesses in the future", WhatsApp COO Matt Idema told The Wall Street Journal, though details of cost structure are not yet clear.
Users will have the option of blocking a service on WhatsApp as well if they don't wish to be contacted by a particular service. Also, if Facebook decides to charge businesses for services, it may help it avoid placing ads on WhatsApp. One of the first giants to test the new function is KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. This includes a free WhatsApp Business app for small companies and a system for bigger companies with a global base of customers, like airlines, e-commerce sites, and banks.
"That's part of the reason why we are spending a lot of time there to understand what people and businesses want from WhatsApp".