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‘WhatsApp Business’ Now Available On Android In India

In India, 84 per cent of SMBs think that WhatsApp helps them communicate with customers, and 80 per cent of SMBs think that WhatsApp helps them grow their business

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"WhatsApp Business" was launched last week in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Britain and the US. Pixabay
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  • WhatsApp Business, an Android app for small businesses, is now available in India
  • The app will make it easier for companies to connect with customers
  • It is yet to come on Apple App Store in India

To help businesses communicate better with their customers in India, WhatsApp has officially rolled out “WhatsApp Business” — a free-to-download Android app for small businesses — in the country.

The new app, available on Google Play Store, will make it easier for companies to connect with customers, and more convenient for its users to chat with businesses that matter to them.

"WhatsApp Business", yet to come on Apple App Store in India, asks for a separate phone number from the one users have for their individual WhatsApp account. VOA
“WhatsApp Business”, yet to come on Apple App Store in India, asks for a separate phone number from the one users have for their individual WhatsApp account. VOA

ALSO READ: YouTube videos can now be watched on WhatsApp messenger

“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,” the Facebook-owned app had said in an earlier statement.

“WhatsApp Business will make it easier for people to connect with them, and vice versa, in a fast and simple way,” the company added.

“WhatsApp Business” was launched last week in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Britain and the US.

The app will help customers with useful information such as a business description, email or store addresses and website. Wikimedia Commons
The app will help customers with useful information such as a business description, email or store addresses and website. Wikimedia Commons

It will also save time with smart messaging tools — quick replies that provide fast answers to frequently asked questions, greeting messages that introduce customers to your business, and away messages that let them know you’re busy.

“People will know that they’re talking to a business because you will be listed as a Business Account. Over time, some businesses will have Confirmed Accounts once it’s been confirmed that the account phone number matches the business phone number,” WhatsApp said.

ALSO READ: WhatsApp information sharing – A Threat to Users’ Privacy

People can continue using WhatsApp as usual as there’s no need to download anything new.

“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,” the company added.

In India, 84 per cent of SMBs think that WhatsApp helps them communicate with customers, and 80 per cent of SMBs think that WhatsApp helps them grow their business. (IANS)

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WhatsApp Wrote To IT Ministry That It Is Horrified By Acts Of Violence

According to media reports, over 30 people have been killed in the past one year

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A bug is being forwarded via messages which when tapped, could send not just the WhatsApp Android app crashing but possibly even the entire Android device as well, the media reported.
WhatsApp Wrote To IT Ministry That It Is Horrified By Acts Of Violence. Pixabay

Taking cognisance of the Indian government’s concerns over the misuse of its platform for repeated circulation of provocative content, Facebook-owned WhatsApp on Wednesday wrote to the IT Ministry, saying the company is horrified by terrible acts of violence.

The IT Ministry on Tuesday asked WhatsApp to take immediate action and ensure that the platform is not used for such malafide activities over the growing instances of lynching of innocent people owing to large number of irresponsible messages filled with rumours and provocation circulated on the mobile messaging platform.

“Thank you for your letter dated July 2. Like the Government of India, we’re horrified by these terrible acts of violence and wanted to respond quickly to the very important issues you have raised. We believe this is a challenge that requires government, civil society and technology companies to work together,” WhatsApp said in the reply to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).

WhatsApp, which has over 200 million monthly active users in India, listed several measures it is taking or has already put in action to control the spread of misinformation and abuse on its platform.

“We have been testing a new label in India that highlights when a message has been forwarded versus composed by the sender.

“This could serve as an important signal for recipients to think twice before forwarding messages because it lets a user know if content they received was written by the person they know or a potential rumor from someone else. We plan to launch this new feature soon,” the company informed.

According to media reports, over 30 people have been killed in the past one year by lynch mobs after rumours of child lifting triggered via messages on WhatsApp.

In Mid-May, said WhatsApp, it added new protections to prevent people from adding others back into groups which they had left — a form of misuse they thought it is important to correct.

WhatsApp Logo
WhatsApp Logo. Image source: Pixabay

“Last week, we launched a new setting that enables administrators to decide who gets to send messages within individual groups. This will help reduce the spread of unwanted messages into important group conversations – as well as the forwarding of hoaxes and other content,” the popular messaging platform noted.

WhatsApp has also announced a new project to work with leading academic experts in India to learn more about the spread of misinformation.

“The fact-checking organisation Boom Live is available on WhatsApp and has published some reports on the source of the rumours that have contributed to the recent violence,” the company said.

While WhatsApp messages can be highly viral, the way people use the app is by nature still very private.

“Many people (nearly 25 per cent in India) are not in a group; the majority of groups continue to be small (less than 10 people); and nine in 10 messages are still sent from just one person to another,” WhatsApp informed.

The company also asked to Indian government to talk further about the actions it is taking and its plans going forward.

“With the right action we can help improve everyone’s safety by ensuring communities are better equipped to deal with malicious hoaxes and false information — while still enabling people to communicate reliably and privately across India,” it noted.

Also read: WhatsApp Copies Telegram to Add One-way ‘Broadcast’ Mode to Group Chats

WhatsApp also announced to soon start an engagement programme with the law enforcement officials across the country so “they are familiar with our approach and how we can be helpful”. (IANS)