WhatsApp officially launches its app for businesses in select markets

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The app is available in Indonesa, Italy, Mexico, the U.S. and United Kingdom from today, with the promise of more countires to come, but is Android-only at the time being.

CAPE TOWN -Instant messaging app WhatsApp has launched a free app aimed at helping small businesses connect with their customers, called WhatsApp Business.

Much like the official mainstream Android app, this one is built for personal texting and use with a phone number, with some extra perks, detailed below from WhatsApp's post on the new app.

Companies can create Business Profiles that provide users with additional information, such as business description, email or store addresses, and website. WhatsApp Business app also features several messaging options including quick replies (for urgent issues), away message (not reachable for now) and greeting message (wish customers on festival occasions). Businesses can also send and receive messages from the WhatsApp Business interface on a desktop computer.

LANDLINE/FIXED NUMBER SUPPORT: You can use WhatsApp Business with a landline (or fixed) phone number and your customers can message you on that number. If you own a small business and want to use WhatsApp Business app, you can download it from Play Store and start engaging with your customers on WhatsApp.

WhatsApp's promising to spread availability of its Business app to more countries in the coming weeks.

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Account Type: Accounts will now be listed as businesses if they are verified as such.

WhatsApp has launched a brand new app that's specifically made for small businesses.

Businesses will also be identified as such on WhatsApp. All of the same features will remain, including blocking any numbers.

WhatsApp had earlier stated that it is important to serve businesses as they heavily rely on the platform to communicate with their customers.

If you are not a business person and has a normal account you have the ability to block any number, including businesses, as well as report spam.

A fake version of WhatsApp Business made its way onto the Google Play store late previous year, and successfully tricked people into installing it. Over the time and after certain verification, the app will get you a confirmed account, which further inspires confidence.