by Graham Pierrepoint
WhatsApp continues to be one of the premier messaging apps on the planet. Its rise to fame started as a result of it enabling people to text each other for free via data connection – meaning that SMS messaging, which otherwise ate into monthly allowances, largely saw a cut in interest. Services such as Facebook Messenger and Snapchat, too, have monopolized on just how connected we all are via data – and WhatsApp itself, of course, was bought by Facebook for a considerable sum of $19 billion back in 2014. Since then, however, short of retaining its encrypted messaging in the face of security agencies everywhere, the platform has maintained a steady profile – the same, recognizable interface and the same, reliable service.
That’s set to change. It’s recently emerged that WhatsApp Business will be set to revolutionize the way that businesses and corporations speak with their users and fans – as it will allow brands to connect with them directly through the popular WhatsApp platform. This revolutionary new service could change the way that businesses and firms communicate with consumers full stop – with the possibility for direct WhatsApp contact to even be potentially listed on social media profiles for quick launch.
WhatsApp has over a billion users active each day – it’s really quite staggering – and it’s only been free for just under two years. By allowing firms to opt into a business plan with the app, companies will be able to offer a quick, direct line of contact and support for people who need to speak with them outside of traditional telephony and email. Much in the way that social media has changed marketing and direct user contact over the years, WhatsApp looks to be taking things to the next level.
Could this mean that we’ll be sharing emoji with customer service advisors in the near future? Maybe, maybe not – it’s likely that firms will still want to lead with verbal communication, though contact center targets are growing tighter and tighter. Will the future of business to buyer contact lie in the adoption of WhatsApp? Moreover – who genuinely saw this coming? As Facebook takes steps ahead with VR ▶ that may not be making the waves they thought they would, it’s very interesting to see that they could have a true game-changer on their hands with one of their finest acquisitions.