WhatsApp Business for Apple iOS rolls out worldwide

WhatsApp's app in the top corner of a smartphone
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Facebook's WhatsApp messaging service has rolled out a business version of its app to iOS devices worldwide, furthering the reach of the service.

The iOS version of WhatsApp Business had been previously launched on iOS back in March, some what lagging behind the release of the Android version of the business app.

Much like the Android app, WhatsApp Business on iOS has all the messaging features one would expect from the vanilla version of WhatsApp, but also comes with specific business-orientated capabilities. These include the ability to share company details within a profile as well has handle interactions between a customer and the apps business user.

“Like the Android version — which over the last year has been adopted by millions of businesses around the world — the WhatsApp Business app for iOS will be free to download from the Apple App Store and will include features to help small businesses and customers communicate,” explained WhatsApp.

“Whether it's an online sweet shop in Ribeirão Preto, Brazil that closes 60 percent of its sales via WhatsApp Business or a cinnamon roll company in Tijuana, Mexico that credits WhatsApp Business for allowing it to open a second location, small business owners all over the world are using the app to grow.”

The app is ready to be downloaded in Brazil, Germany, Indonesia, India, Mexico, the UK and the US with more countries set to be added to the roster.

19/01/18: WhatsApp Business launches in the UK

A new way for businesses to interact with their customers has been launched in the UK: WhatsApp Business.

The UK is one of five countries worldwide where the SMB-focused app has rolled out officially, having initially been in a pilot programme since September last year.

WhatsApp has traditionally been used, both as a consumer tool and within businesses, to engage in conversations among members of specific groups, say those working on a given project, for example, or to organise a social event. WhatsApp Business, however, is intended to open a new channel of communication between businesses and their customers.

"Our new app will make it easier for companies to connect with customers, and more convenient for our 1.3 billion users to chat with businesses that matter to them," the company said.

Features of the app include business profiles, for at-a-glance information on the company; some basic automation including quick answers for FAQs, greetings and away messages; and the option to access WhatsApp Business through the web, rather than the app.

Business accounts will also be marked as such, so users are aware they're engaging with a company, and a Confirmed Account status will be rolled out "over time" to some businesses, although there's no indication of time scales involved.

The WhatsApp Business app itself, which is currently only available for Android, only needs to be downloaded by the business user, with customers able to use their normal WhatsApp account.

"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 said.

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland is a passionate newshound whose journalism training initially involved a broadcast specialism, but he’s since found his home in breaking news stories online and in print.

He held a freelance news editor position at ITPro for a number of years after his lengthy stint writing news, analysis, features, and columns for The Inquirer, V3, and Computing. He was also the news editor at Silicon UK before joining Tom’s Guide in April 2020 where he started as the UK Editor and now assumes the role of Managing Editor of News.

Roland’s career has seen him develop expertise in both consumer and business technology, and during his freelance days, he dabbled in the world of automotive and gaming journalism, too.