WhatsApp announces new tools for businesses and customers to connect

Judy Cobb
August 3, 2018

The big picture: Back in 2014, Facebook made one of the largest acquisitions in tech history when it bought WhatsApp for $16 billion. But after nine years in existence, the company's finally settled on a way to earn some cash.

WhatsApp will begin to charge companies for responding to customer queries through its app.

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Though the WhatApp Business API, businesses will still be able to respond to customer messages for free for 24 hours. The API can also plug into customer relationship management tools like Twilio and Zendesk.

Get support: Some businesses may provide real-time support on WhatsApp to answer questions about their products or help you resolve an issue. After 24 hours, businesses will have to pay to send messages to people. It also reported WhatsApp is now working with a select number of companies that specialize in managing customer communications to bring the API to more businesses over a period of time.

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WhatsApp had announced in January it would start allowing small business accounts to communicate through the WhatsApp Business application, which has over 3 million active users. "Clickatell has integrated the API into its Connect, Touch and Transact SaaS solutions, which makes it easy for businesses to build a significant presence on WhatsApp".

WhatsApp is providing two ways to set up a business profile on WhatsApp. Hit Block to block a business from sending you further messages.

Start a conversation: You may see a click-to-chat button on a website or Facebook ad to quickly message a business.

"We're introducing the WhatsApp Business API to help businesses manage communications with existing and potential customers at scale". The new WhatsApp feature is now available for users around the world on iOS and Android.

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