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WhatsApp Business hits 5 million merchants in a year; company announces new desktop features

Sohini Mitter
25th Jan 2019
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WhatsApp Business is available in select markets, including India; it has been an Android-only application so far.

WhatsApp Business, the messaging giant’s India-first product for enterprise users, has reached five million merchants in the span of a year. The company announced that B2B customers are using the standalone app to expand their business, support customers, and serve communities around the world.

To mark its first anniversary, WhatsApp Business is rolling out a slew of new features for its web and desktop applications. These features - Quick Replies, Labels, and Chat List Filtering - were earlier available only on the app.

  • Quick Replies are a bit like Gmail’s auto-response suggestions. These are frequent messages that pop up when commonly asked questions are sent to the user. They have to simply press ‘/’ on the keyboard to choose a quick response and send it to the recipient.
  • Labels will help users organise their contacts and chats with labels (like in Gmail) to make them easily discoverable.
  • Chat List Filtering: This feature will help users manage chats with filters such as unread messages, groups, broadcast lists, etc.
WhatsApp Business

WhatsApp wrote on its official blog,

“Using these features on a computer helps businesses save time and get back to their customers quickly. We’re excited to keep growing WhatsApp Business and introducing new features that make it easy for customers to find and engage with businesses that are important to them.”

Also read: This woman entrepreneur is earning millions selling sarees via WhatsApp

Mobile internet fuels the growth of digital businesses as Bharat starts catching up with India


Without revealing its merchant base in India, WhatsApp stated that Bengaluru-based eyewear startup Glassic has been using its business application to grow, with 30 percent of Glassic’s new sales being generated through the app.

WhatsApp Business has been an Android-only application so far and is available in select markets - India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the UK and the US. It was launched in January 2018 with the aim of connecting tens of millions of small enterprises with their potential customers at a minimal cost.

It is rumoured that WhatsApp is planning to launch new features on its consumer app as well. Most awaited of them is Dark Mode - the buzz around which picked up earlier this week after concept images leaked by WABetaInfo (a WhatsApp insider blog) surfaced on the internet.

This mode will dim the app’s interface at night, and subsequently, let users save up their phones’ battery life. However, the company has not confirmed anything about the Dark Mode or other upcoming features. 


Also read: WhatsApp and Invest India announce partnership to promote growth of startups, SMBs


 

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