WhatsApp has officially launched a new app, called WhatsApp Business.
It’s completely separate to the standard version of WhatsApp, but it works in much the same manner – only its purpose is connecting businesses and customers, rather than friends and family.
The app is aimed at small business owners.
It’s designed to make it easier for them to communicate with customers and manage their orders.
WhatsApp Business users can create a business profile and add details like the company’s website, location and contact information to it.
They can also message customers, send them updates and answer any questions they have.
“WhatsApp Business enables you to have a business presence on WhatsApp, communicate more efficiently with your customers, and help you grow your business,” the company says.
“With the app, businesses can interact with customers easily by using tools to automate, sort, and quickly respond to messages.”
WhatsApp Business has a similar logo to the regular WhatsApp app, but its green speech bubble badge contains a white B rather than a phone symbol.
A fake version of WhatsApp Business made its way onto the Google Play store late last year, and successfully tricked people into installing it.
Shortly afterwards, WhatsApp published an FAQ page, which clears up any potential confusion around the app.
“You can check your contact’s profile to see which type of account they’re using,” it explains.
A Business account with a green checkmark badge in its profile has been verified as “an authentic brand” by WhatsApp.
A Business account with a grey checkmark badge in its profile, meanwhile, has been confirmed to be using a phone number that matches the phone number of the business it claims to be owned and operated by.
A Business account with a grey question mark badge in its profile, however, indicates that the account hasn’t been confirmed or verified by WhatsApp.
You should, therefore, be wary if a Business account with a grey badge in its profile tries to contact you, even it appears to be associated with a company you know.
You can also block and report WhatsApp Business users. In the chat, tap the menu button and select Report Spam or Block.
WhatsApp Business is currently only available to Android users living in the UK, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico and the US. It’s available to download here.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies