To US readers, WhatsApp may not seem like much of a big deal. Things are different elsewhere, however, and with more than 1 billion daily active users it's easy to understand why Facebook paid so much money to acquire the messaging service. After a number of rumors and clues, business accounts similar to what you can already find in the Facebook Messenger app are now coming to WhatsApp.
Businesses already extensively use WhatsApp to communicate with their customers, particularly in Asia, but by introducing verified accounts there can be full confidence that you're talking to someone authentic. There's going to be a free business app for small companies and a separate enterprise solution for large scale organizations. For the moment, WhatsApp is still testing its tools as part of a closed pilot program. Different companies will be able to use WhatsApp for different functions, such as flight updates from an airline or delivery notifications from a courier, for example.
We'll soon start to see verified accounts with a icon to denote that WhatsApp has confirmed the company's identity. The service will continue to add more and more businesses over the coming months as it looks to test its feature set. User feedback will be important during the process and there will be several rounds of improvements before the feature is fully rolled out for everyone.
If you don't already have the app (likely if you're in the US) you can download it using the Play Store link below, or install it manually from APKMirror. Let us know in the comments if any of you have come across any verified business accounts yet and what you make of the implementation if so.