WhatsApp is fine-tuning its chat services to make it more attractive for businesses. The company has started a new pilot program for verified business accounts, which seems to hint that it may be targeting the customer support segment of its business users with a new app that is reported to be still under development.
In a recent post, WhatsApp announced that is starting to verify the contact numbers of some business accounts. Users will know if a business’ contact number has already been verified by way of a green badge that appears next to the contact name.
In addition, users will also know if they are communicating with a verified WhatsApp business account. The messages from a verified business will appear yellow inside a chat. It was likewise announced that these messages cannot be deleted although the company did not explain the reason for this feature yet.
Industry watchers say that WhatsApp’s verification is the first step of a new strategy to make money by luring businesses into using the platform to communicate with their customers. According to Daily Mail, the green badges and the yellow colored text bubble from verified business accounts, are ways to make these businesses appear more trustworthy to their customers. It will also encourage businesses to use the app for its communications especially in customer support.
The latest move by the Facebook-owned company seems to agree with recent reports speculating that WhatsApp app could be developing a standalone app specifically designed for businesses. In a Business Insider report, the company is said to be developing a separate app for use in customer support.
A code analysis by WABetaInfo, a site that has reliably predicted WhatsApps features in the past, the new app works on Android phones and may be used by companies to send automated customer support messages like FB’s Messenger. Moreover, WhatsApp just posted a job opening for a technical position on what it refers to as “WhatsApp Business app for Android.”