A day or two ago WhatsApp pushed out a new update to the WhatsApp Beta app for Windows Phone, taking it to version 2.17.234.
The update does not ostensibly add much, except barring the ability to add a check mark character to your user name, as can be seen in the screen shot above.
The change is, however, evidence of a wider change coming to the WhatsApp platform, where businesses will be encouraged to use WhatsApp as a platform to communicate with their customers.
According to WABetaInfo WhatsApp is set to release a business-only version of their app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Businesses will be verified and will the sport a check mark (banning the check mark in user names prevent spoofing off this.) Regular WhatsApp users will be able to communicate with businesses from the mainstream WhatsApp app while the business-WhatsApp will face all kinds of restrictions, such as not being able to change their name, the name having a specific length and being required to specify a website and email address in their profile. There will also be controls in place to prevent spamming by businesses.
WhatsApp will also use template technology to allow automatic translation of structured messages from businesses, allowing them to support users all around the world.
The feature could be used by businesses to keep users informed e.g. of hotel bookings, flight delays and more.
None of these features are active yet, but much has been discerned from disassembling the various WhatsApp Beta apps. Read more about the new apps at WABetaInfo here.
You can download WhatsApp beta for Windows Phone from the link below.