One Year After Launch, WhatsApp Adds New Business Messaging Features

dir="ltr">Just about a year after introducing WhatsApp Business, a feature that companies can use to interact with customers, the messaging app is rolling out three new features for brands to use through their desktop—quick replies, labels, and chat list filtering. The business arm of the messaging app reaches over 5 million customers, and while many of these messaging tools were previously available via mobile only, now that the web app has reached a critical mass, WhatsApp is porting the features over to their desktop offering as well.

“In January of last year we launched the WhatsApp Business app, and now there are more than 5 million businesses using it to support customers, grow their businesses and serve their communities all over the world. We're excited that we've helped millions of businesses grow,” the company announced in a blog post. “For example, in India, Bengaluru-based eyewear brand Glassic has told us that 30 percent of its new sales are generated through WhatsApp Business.”

The new features are meant to improve efficiency of communications with customers. Quick replies, for example, enables businesses to use canned responses to answer consumers quickly, much like the “Saved Replies” businesses might find on Facebook Messenger. Companies providing customer support can trigger the responses with a simple command—pressing the “/” button.

Labels and chat list filters, meanwhile, enable businesses to organize chat lists by categories, including unread messages, groups, or broadcast lists, which makes it easier to quickly find and pull up a relevant message and respond to a conversation.

WhatsApp Business already offers a number of customer service features, including automated greeting messages and away messages that can be deployed when businesses aren’t available to respond to inquiries. The new tools will serve to complement the existing functionality.

“Using these features on a computer helps businesses save time and get back to their customers quickly,” according to the WhatsApp blog post. “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.”

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