One of these features, verified business profiles, is already being tested today. Additionally, WhatsApp says it's building and testing tools within a free WhatsApp Business app that SMBs can use for their presence on the platform and communication with their customers.
However, the way this happens is "pretty rudimentary".
WhatsApp has always been about people.
With over 1 billion people using WhatsApp each and every day to communicate with another, more and more of them are are using the app to communicate with businesses they care about as well.
In a statement given to the publication, it also confirmed that businesses won't be able to contact users unless they have "provided their phone number and agreed to be contacted by the business owner". The company said that it will "vertify" legitimate businesses with a Twitter-esque green badge, and will allow companies to display to display their addresses and other extra information in a bid to help users discover authentic businesses.
"The capabilities we are offering are free to use". Several Indian startups were part of early pilots for WhatsApp Business such as online pharmacy 1mg and ticket site Bookmyshow.com. Globally, the trials included Dutch airline KLM and Itau Bank in Brazil.
This, WhatsApp claims, will allow businesses to provide customers with "useful notifications" such as flight times and delivery confirmations.
"Businesses have many different needs", said the company blog post.
Users can stop a business from contacting them by blocking them. The Facebook-owned company revealed they are now building and testing new tools that are aimed making interaction between people and businesses easy and more reliable. India is a key market that's home to WhatsApp's single largest user base of 200 million. "India is very significant", Idema said.
"We're looking forward to making it possible for people to connect with businesses in a fast and personal way, and giving businesses the tools to make that easier to do", WhatsApp Chief Operating Officer Matt Idema said.