FACEBOOK-OWNED WhatsApp has started rolling out its Business app to iOS globally just, er, 14 months after it landed on Android.
After last month showing up in Mexico, the app is now rolling out to iOS users in the UK, Brazil, Germany, Indonesia, India, and the US, and will be coming to the rest of the world "in the coming weeks."
"Today we're introducing the WhatsApp Business app for iOS," WhatsApp said in a blog post on Thursday. "Like the Android version — which over the last year has been adopted by millions of businesses around the world — the WhatsApp Business app for iOS will include features to help small businesses and customers communicate."
WhatsApp Business does exactly what it says on the tin; it allows, er, businesses to connect with customers. Firms can respond for free if they do so within 24 hours, but, in a bid to start monetizing start contributing to Facebook's revenues for the first time since it dropped its subscription fee in 2016, WhatsApp will charge business a fixed rate by country per message sent after that.
Beyond messaging, WhatsApp's biz-focused app also lets companies can create Business Profiles that provide users with info such as business description, email or store addresses, and website.
WhatsApp Business users will also be equipped with smart messaging tools, including "quick replies that provide fast answers to frequently asked questions, greeting messages that introduce customers to your business, and away messages that let them know you're busy", along with metrics such as how many messages have been read.
"People all around the world use WhatsApp to connect with small businesses they care about - from online clothing companies in India to auto parts stores in Brazil," the firm said in a blog post announcing the app's launch back in January 2018. µ
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