We’ve already heard that WhatsApp has been working on a new feature that allows businesses to interact with customers directly on the instant messaging service. Now, the Facebook-owned IM application has officially confirmed the same in a blog post.
The blog post states that the service is still undergoing testing, however, the company will use the feedback from participants to improve the feature before it finally starts rolling out. WhatsApp is still used by several businesses to interact and communicate with their customers, however, there is still no way to figure out if that account is legit. But that is soon about to change with Verified Accounts.
“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 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,” the company says in the blog post.
The feature is essentially similar to what we’ve already seen with Facebook’s Messenger app. The company also notes in the blog post that there’ll be two different categories of Verified accounts. One of them will be for small businesses and enterprises who can use the feature for free, while the other will be a separate service for businesses who operate on a large scale. WhatsApp says these companies will be able to use the feature by providing information such as courier delivery, flight updates, hotel bookings, and much more.
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,” WhatsApp explains in the blog.
When the feature becomes ready for a final rollout, users will be also able to figure out whether they are interacting with an authentic business account. As there’ll be a big green colored tick icon to signify that the interaction you had was legit. WhatsApp also says there’ll be a pilot program that’ll add more companies to test several new features and tools in the near future.