WhatsApp’s latest feature brings the connection of Business APIs to WhatsApp. This feature is aimed to be beneficial for both the regular users and the business owners. This detailed discussion covers various ways in which we will be affected by this new update of WhatsApp.
WhatsApp is the leading messaging app across the globe. Launched in 2009 and currently owned by Facebook, the application has widened its reach and influence amongst all the users of smartphones with its user-friendly WhatsApp latest features updates that keep rolling every month. Various major changes have come to the app’s UI and the way we communicate over the years, but now, as communication has been established to a maximum level and WhatsApp has got its dedicated community of over 1.3 billion users, it is moving towards the opening to businesses and allowing them monetary gains from WhatsApp.
Latest WhatsApp features:
Earlier this week, WhatsApp announced two latest features which are to be of big help to the big businesses as well as for the users. The biggest news is the introduction of Business API on the app itself which has enabled automated messaging for customers.
Now let us get into what the feature is all about. With automated messaging granted to business APIs on WhatsApp, the large companies with huge user base will be able to contact their customers directly through WhatsApp and send different non-promotional messages. The users might feel initially that this is slowly turning on a path of Facebook, Instagram and the like which will soon be filled with promotional messages like advertisements. But there is a crux. WhatsApp has developed the feature, completely keeping in mind, the convenience of its users and maintaining the efficiency of the application.
Advantages of the WhatsApp latest features:
There are various advantages of WhatsApp API, like,
- You can get instant reminders for your appointments with any of the registered businesses. It is unlike the services provided by Google as it will have a single reminder dedicated to the business and a thread can be maintained like any other chat history.
- With an integration of Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra and other businesses already, the users can get regular shipping information which they either received from normal text messages or through e-mail.
- The flight timings and any other such travel schedules, even the cab arrival notification from the leading cab providing companies like Ola and Uber can be directly conveyed to the user through WhatsApp.
Similar such facilities have been introduced for which, every company will have to pay a certain amount to be able to use them. Right now, only 90 big companies have been allowed to access the Business API of WhatsApp, while the money they have to pay for the integration has not yet been revealed.
WhatsApp has taken care of the ease of its users and to prevent this feature from being an advertising method, they have made a rule that only those companies will be able to send messages to the users who have been manually added by the customers themselves. The developers have kept in mind that no person should be bugged by the irrelevant messages coming in.
How is API in WhatsApp latest feature going to influence retail and e-commerce?
The retail business had already suffered a lot due to the conveniences provided by e-commerce. Long gone are the days when people hesitated in using the various e-commerce site with the fear of getting duplicate products or over warranty issues. Today, everyone is using e-commerce to its full efficiency and retail marketing has been influenced a lot. To some extent, one of the major drawbacks of the e-commerce sites has been a miscommunication with the client. Kids used to order things online and parents never got to know until the package actually came, because the updates are mostly on the site itself. Now that WhatsApp has come with this update, the people whose cards or numbers are being used will get instant notification and this will be a huge gain on the part of e-commerce sites. WhatsApp and e-commerce will now go hand-in-hand for the better shopping experience. Also, there will be a convenience in delivering the product ordered by direct communication. There may arise various circumstances in which a phone is unavailable for calls, but being connected to WiFi, the delivery people can always get the WhatsApp of the customer and deliver the products with confirmation.
WhatsApp will affect the e-commerce and marketing in ways, like:
- It will contribute to increasing the market reach of a product.
- WhatsApp will become the new ground for brand building.
- It will facilitate one-to-one communication between customers and brands.
- Online shopping will gain more credibility with the backbone of WhatsApp.
- It will become easier to stay updated with the latest updates of your favorite brands and companies.
Such small changes here and there will completely revolutionize the e-commerce industry, in collaboration with WhatsApp latest features.
WhatsApp latest feature in practice for a few months:
With various modifications, this feature of business integration is however pretty old on WhatsApp. Earlier in January, a version of this Business API was rolled out where major sites like Myntra and networks like Airtel and Jio could send messages to their customers, directly on WhatsApp. This feature still continues, even though all the notifications did not come on chat. This partial error had to be fixed and the latest update is believed to have integrated proper system so that the business companies can send all the notifications to their customers and the users face no difficulty in keeping a record of their activities on WhatsApp itself, with the help of previous, helpful features like starring the messages.
Another WhatsApp latest feature:
One more helpful feature is in line for the latest updates. It has been long in rumors that Facebook and WhatsApp are to be interconnected. This feature has been implied, but only on a certain section, i.e. Business. The advertisers using Facebook Ads Manager can now add a quick access click-to-chat button to their advertisements. The biggest benefit of this WhatsApp latest feature is again for both the business and the consumer. If a company has posted an advertisement and an interested person comes across it, he will have full liberty to use the quick access button and communicate with the AI or representatives of the company. This is better because it will guarantee a quick response for the user. Also, earlier people used to either mail on the given mail-id, or comment on Facebook. The company then had to separately take care of all the queries that are being posted on the social media platforms or have been received through the mail. With WhatsApp integration to an advertisement on Facebook, it will be far easier for the advertiser to communicate with the interested beings. It has been notified that this click-to-chat latest WhatsApp feature will roll out throughout the world within this month, but it will not be available for India and Europe, while the reason still stays unknown.
Why use the latest WhatsApp feature?
With all these changes being introduced from the perspective of the companies and businesses and our mutual benefit, the question is, why should businesses avail the WhatsApp API. To this, the first point is that people are all getting busier day by day. Calling and letting people know about the new businesses, used to be an old method of communication. Now if the people start receiving anonymous calls throughout the day, they will be least interested in listening to them, even though the pitch can be good. Statistics reveal that people are 40% more likely to respond to messages than to actually pick a call and talk. Hence, as the latest WhatsApp feature is slowly made open to the small businesses, they can use it to spread credible information amongst the mass. Also, there are many customer support tools available which can help the companies come in direct communication with its clients.
WhatsApp latest feature vs. text messaging and emails:
This WhatsApp latest feature is on the verge of diminishing the importance of e-mails, as the official messages can also be carried on from WhatsApp.
This online messaging giant had already replaced SMS with its highly advanced features of image and video sharing, audio recording and the recent feature of sharing documents as well. Now, with the integration of e-commerce in WhatsApp, it will somehow affect emails as well.
Hidden truth of WhatsApp latest feature:
However, some experts believe that WhatsApp cannot be a very good option for all the companies to spread their message. It must be noticed that WhatsApp has a hidden clause in this latest WhatsApp feature. It says that if the company fails to respond to a query asked on WhatsApp within an hour, then the company will have to make a payment of a certain amount to WhatsApp. Now, if a company has integrated WhatsApp with itself, then not only can it send messages but it will also enable user responses.
Not all companies want to answer all the queries of the customers as some of them are extremely vague and irrelevant as well. But under this feature, they will be bound to give a response and this will take a toll on the company as they might have to hire extra individuals to reply to the doubts. Still, now there is no news of any AI or bot taking over the response operations. Even if they have this issue in mind, then maybe the feature is in pipeline. But for now, a company must think twice before getting into WhatsApp business integration. For bigger organizations, the threat is still manageable with the technological forces that they have, but this feature can get a little tricky for the small companies. Maybe this is the reason why it is yet to receive a full-fledged working update for all the companies who wish to integrate WhatsApp. However, it has equal benefits for the companies and the users, so this latest WhatsApp feature stands to be a debatable one which will answer all the questions, once it is fully in operation.
Originally published at www.wigzo.com on Aug 7, 2018.
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