WhatsApp introduces ‘commands’ feature to streamline business communication

WhatsApp is testing integration of commands for business conversations utilising official WhatsApp Cloud API
An undated image of the WhatsApp icon on a mobile phone. — Canva
An undated image of the WhatsApp icon on a mobile phone. — Canva

WhatsApp is rolling out a new feature tailored for business accounts utilising the Cloud API, aiming to enhance their interactions with customers. This feature is presently accessible to users after updating to the latest versions of WhatsApp for both iOS and Android.

In addition to the marketing feature introduced earlier, which assists small businesses in broadening their outreach by enabling them to dispatch offers and announcements to their customers, WhatsApp is now introducing a feature geared towards business solutions. 

This feature appears to closely resemble the quick reply option, typically reserved for standard business accounts to send pre-set text to their customers, to aid them in saving time. Likewise, business accounts leveraging the official WhatsApp Cloud API can now set up commands to enhance their service interactions.

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As shown in the provided screenshot, WhatsApp is presently testing the integration of commands for business conversations utilising the official WhatsApp Cloud API. Commands are essentially textual strings showcased in a list that becomes visible when users input a forward slash during a conversation with a business solution, provided they have configured this feature within their business settings. 

This list encompasses a set number of commands, each accompanied by a helpful hint to guide users in understanding specific actions associated with its usage. Business solutions appear to have the capacity to define a maximum of 30 commands. However, it is important to note that each command is restricted to a maximum of 32 characters, and each associated hint is limited to a maximum of 256 characters.

According to WABeta, this feature represents a significant advancement in enhancing customer-business interactions, furnishing businesses with a novel tool to elevate communication and user experience. The incorporation of commands offers a dynamic and customisable approach for businesses to effectively engage with their customers, facilitating swifter responses and more tailored interactions. 

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Through the introduction of commands, businesses can also direct customers towards the specific services they offer, alleviating the need for users to type out full text. It is worth mentioning that, given the newness of this feature, identifying a business solution that has already adopted commands may pose a challenge. 

Nevertheless, it is believed that the potential benefits, such as increased efficiency and improved customer engagement, make the exploration and adoption of this feature a promising investment over time.

The commands feature is accessible in business conversations utilising the official WhatsApp Cloud API, and customers who have updated to the latest versions of WhatsApp for iOS via the App Store and WhatsApp for Android via the Google Play Store can now explore this feature.