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WhatsApp: 3 Features That Win

Reading Time: 3 min

WhatsApp Messenger was founded in February 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum, who were former employees of Yahoo! The name “WhatsApp” is a play on the phrase “What’s Up.” It was acquired by Facebook, Inc. (now Meta) in 2014. Since then, WhatsApp Messenger has grown significantly. (You can check the timeline of WhatsApp here.) Today, it is the most popular VoIP service (in principle) worldwide, with over 2.78 billion users. Experts predict that it will surpass 3.14 billion users by 2025. In 2024, WhatsApp Business, its business-oriented counterpart, is being used by 50 million brands globally as a professional business tool, with 75 million customers interacting with business accounts daily. In this blog post, I’d like to discuss three features of WhatsApp Messenger and WhatsApp Business that I use and appreciate. These features are why WhatsApp remains my favourite messaging platform, despite the numerous alternatives available.

Online Services Using WhatsApp for 2FA

We already know that Facebook uses WhatsApp to send Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) codes when resetting passwords for Facebook and Instagram accounts. After all, Meta Inc. owns Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Still, did you know that when resetting forgotten passwords for services like Yahoo! Mail, you can also request the 2FA code via WhatsApp? I strongly believe in Two-Factor Authentication and use two methods to verify my identity online. For frequently accessed services, I use Microsoft Authenticator to generate codes. For less frequently accessed services, I use SMS. However, SMS verification can be problematic because telecom companies sometimes block verification codes, mistaking them for spam. Additionally, in a post titled “Thou Shalt Not Use SMS!” I explained that SMS is not encrypted, making 2FA codes and OTP vulnerable to interception via stingray. Such risks are much lower with WhatsApp. This is the first feature that makes WhatsApp a winner.

Use WhatsApp with Meta Business Suite

If you use Facebook and Instagram for your business, you’re probably familiar with Meta Business Suite, a powerful tool for managing both platforms from one place. But did you know you can also use Meta Business Suite to manage your WhatsApp Business account? It allows you to handle messages from Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp Business all in one inbox, making it simpler to monitor customer interactions and respond quickly. You can set up automated responses for common customer questions on WhatsApp Business, like greetings or quick replies, which helps improve how fast you respond and how satisfied your customers are. Plus, you can get detailed analytics about your interactions on WhatsApp Business. (Note: You can’t use a WhatsApp Business number registered with Meta Business Manager on the WhatsApp Business Smartphone App. Instead, you need to use the Meta Business Manager app for Android or iOS.)

You can: Track metrics such as message volume, response times, and customer engagement to gain insights and improve your communication strategies. Organize and manage customer information more efficiently by saving details and tracking interactions across different platforms in one place. Create and manage ad campaigns on Facebook and Instagram that direct users to WhatsApp, boosting traffic to your WhatsApp Business account and increasing customer engagement. Schedule posts and manage content across Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp from one central location to ensure consistent and timely communication with your audience. Allow multiple team members to access and manage the WhatsApp Business account through Meta Business Suite, assigning roles and permissions to streamline teamwork and improve efficiency. This is the second feature that makes WhatsApp a winner.

The Only App that has “Away Messages”

The exact number of messaging apps in the world in 2024 is difficult to determine owing to the constant emergence of new apps (The messaging app landscape is constantly evolving, with new apps appearing all the time.) and Unofficial apps (Messaging apps that operate in specific regions or cater to niche communities.) with WhatsApp Messenger, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Telegram, Viber, Signal, Skype, Line, Snapchat, iMessage being the top 10 messenger platforms respectively. However, only WhatsApp Business Messenger supports setting up “Away Messages”. The rest don’t support “Away Messages” at all or require add-on apps to set up “Away Messages”. Even the add-on apps are available for Android only. They are not available for iOS. It’s a major drawback of other messenger platforms but a huge plus point for WhatsApp Business. This is the final feature that makes WhatsApp a winner.

Wrap Up

WhatsApp Messenger isn’t perfect; it has its flaws like any other messaging platform. However, compared to the top 10 messaging apps, Meta has done well with the brainchild of Brian Acton and Jan Koum. When I first looked for a messaging app, I researched whether to use WhatsApp or Viber. Six years ago, I didn’t know which was the best and most popular. Today, that’s not a question many ask, as WhatsApp is the first choice for over 2 billion users worldwide. Its unique features cater to both personal and professional users. I’ve tried Viber, Signal, and Telegram, but only WhatsApp has stood the test of time. While some other platforms may offer features like higher limits, Meta Inc. is quickly catching up by adding similar features to their apps. (ex: WhatsApp Channels). It’s only a matter of time before WhatsApp increases its limits, allowing for larger attachments, more group members, and expanded broadcast lists.

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