Over 1 billion people use WhatsApp every day to stay connected with their family and friends, and over time, more people are using the app to communicate with businesses they care about too. In fact, many connections are already taking place every day, whether it’s someone placing an order with a local bakery or looking at new styles from a clothing store. But the way this happens now on WhatsApp is pretty rudimentary. 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. In the coming months, we’ll be testing new features that aim to solve some of these challenges, and make it easier for people to communicate with the businesses they want to reach on WhatsApp. Our approach is simple – we want to apply what we’ve learned helping people connect with each other to helping people connect witth businesses that are important to them.
We know businesses have many different needs. For example, they want an official presence – a verified profile so people can identify a business from another person – and an easier way to respond to messages. We’re building and testing new tools via a free WhatsApp Business app for small companies and an enterprise solution for bigger companies operating at a large scale with a global base of customers, like airlines, e-commerce sites, and banks. These businesses will be able to use our solutions to provide customers with useful notifications like flight times, delivery confirmations, and other updates.
Whether someone is communicating with a business around the corner or around the globe, people expect WhatsApp to be fast, reliable, and secure. We’ll be listening carefully to feedback during our test phase and keeping people informed as we make these tools more widely available. It’s important that we get this right and are thoughtful about the new experiences we’ll provide for businesses and our users.