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WhatsApp targets small businesses with new UK app launch

(Image credit: Image Credit: Endermasali / Shutterstock)

WhatsApp has announced the launch of a new business-focused version of its service in the UK for the first time. 

Designed primarily for small start-ups and SMEs, WhatsApp Business (opens in new tab) is available now on the Android platform. The free to download is launching in the UK alongside the US, Indonesia, Italy and Mexico, with a worldwide release expected soon.

The company says WhatsApp Business will have multiple benefits. Users will, for example, know that they’re chatting with a business profile and not a personal one. On the other hand, brands will have an easier time communicating with customers, but also with employees.

Business profiles on WhatsApp Business will offer a description, including email, store address and website. Messaging tools will provide quick replies to frequently asked questions. Statistics will offer businesses a chance to quickly review simple metrics.

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. But WhatsApp was built for people and we want to improve the business experience. For example, by making it easier for businesses to respond to customers, separating customer and personal messages, and creating an official presence.

“People can continue using WhatsApp as usual — there's no need to download anything new,” the company said via a blog post (opens in new tab). “And people will continue to have full control over the messages they receive, with the ability to block any number, including businesses, as well as report spam.”

However concerns have already been raised that WhatsApp is actually looking to make a lot of money from the new app by charging larger enterprises for more advanced features.

Image Credit: Endermasali / Shutterstock

Sead Fadilpašić
Sead Fadilpašić

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.