WhatsApp last week announced that it is rolling out new services aimed at businesses that are communicating with their customers, along with the news that the Facebook-owned messaging app is dropping the $1 annual fee that some customers are charged.
While much buzz was made about the dropping of the dollar fee, the advent of new WhatsApp business services is what excites us here at Battenhall HQ. As you may already know, we have been running our own WhatsApp channel since January 2015, and we’ve helped a number of high profile clients do the same. They all complain of similar issues, however, with not being able to communicate effectively at scale with their customers as WhatsApp just doesn’t have the functionality. Which is why this news of business accounts comes as a shot in the arm.
Check out WeChat and you will see just what might be possible with business services inside WhatsApp. WeChat has 650 million active users, that’s 50% bigger than Instagram and twice as big as Twitter, yet staggeringly approximately 80% of WeChat’s users are in China. In WeChat you can browse the web, make payments, speak to businesses and get info from QR codes. Business accounts are totally different to consumer accounts. And this is the direction other chat apps are heading.
If you are looking at what new business services inside chat apps might mean for your business, this long read from Chris Messina over on Medium is worth the time to read.