File picture: AP

CAPE TOWN -Instant messaging app WhatsApp has launched a free app aimed at helping small businesses connect with their customers, called WhatsApp Business. 

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The app has the following features:

1. Business owners will be able to create a profile which contains useful information about their business; a contact email, the physical address and the company website.

2. The app allows for the creation of quick replies for frequently asked questions and a greeting messages.

3. It also allows the business to view metrics, such as the number of messages that have been read.

4. The app will list you as a Business Account,  so that people will know that they’re talking to a business. 

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When WhatsApp confirms the account phone number matches the business phone number,  your account will be confirmed and immediately live. 

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. But WhatsApp was built for people and we want to improve the business experience,” said the company in a blog post.

The business orientated app has already launched in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the US. 

WhatsApp says that the app will roll out to other territories in the coming weeks.

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