Is Multi-Device the Stone in WhatsApp’s Shoe?

By on July 1, 2019

Can you believe it? Yes, even WhatsApp, the king of messaging apps, has some weaknesses.

In recent years, there has been a general trend to make communication services usable on multiple devices, for example, by using the same app on the smartphone and on the PC monitor.

And even WhatsApp, sooner or later, will have to face this “multi-device trend”, but currently the messaging app doesn’t allow this functionality.

We don’t know the reason for Whatsapp limiting this choice, and we certainly don’t want to judge their policies and strategies. However, not being able to use multiple users severely limits the use of WhatsApp. Especially for those who use it for business purposes, such as customer support activities or to send promotions.

If we look for an answer on the official website of WhatsApp we find that a WhatsApp account can only be verified with one number on one device and, if you attempt to frequently switch your WhatsApp account between different devices, at a certain point, you may be blocked for re-verifying your account.

Let’s see what Google tells us if I do a search on this topic. If we type keywords like:

  • “multi-users on WhatsApp”
  • “how can I use WhatsApp on two devices simultaneously”
  • “how to run one WhatsApp number on multiple devices”

What the search will give as a result will be some articles that explain how to run WhatsApp Web by connecting the smartphone and the PC or Macbook by scanning the QR code. This is the most popular method to use WhatsApp account on multiple devices.

Let’s see quickly how it works.

  1. First of all, you need to open WhatsApp Web on PC or Mac by visiting web.whatsapp.com and then take your smartphone.
  2. Open WhatsApp on the phone and click the three dots from the top right corner and click on WhatsApp Web.
  3. Now scan the QR code, and after that, you are ready to use the same WhatsApp account on two devices.

But let me say that this is neither a tip nor a trick because there isn’t real simultaneity.

It means that when you log in WhatsApp Web, at the same time you lose access on the other device. In general, it’s not possible to use the same WhatsApp account on two devices at the same time.

Other instant messaging applications have a very different approach. For example, it comes in mind Telegram, that has an effective multi-device design, and allow you to use the messaging app on several devices by using only one account and only one phone number.

That being said, why should we use WhatsApp rather than these other solutions? Why can’t we simply replace WhatsApp with other apps? Simple, because only WhatsApp is popular as WhatsApp.

Any entrepreneur, any freelancer, any marketers or anyone who manage a business must adapt to market trends. Your customers’ needs evolve with the progress of technology, which continually changes consumer habits. According to a Facebook committed survey by Nielsen, people are more inclined to buy a product or service from a company they can reach through instant messaging. So, adding a messaging app to your marketing strategy becomes a key step for your business activity.

Last year WhatsApp has reached 1.5 billion monthly active users worldwide. After this goal, it was released WhatsApp Business, the version of the app for businesses and freelancers, to allow them to connect to their customers.

What are the advantages of WhatsApp Business?

WhatsApp Business is a messaging app for small business owners. The download is free, but some features require a fee. For example, when a customer sends a request via the app and opens a 24-hour time window, the response is free. On the other hand, if you exceed this threshold, you must pay a fee for sending the message. Even to use the WhatsApp Business API you must comply with certain thorny conditions. With WhatsApp Business, enterprises and freelancers can easily interact with their customers and quickly respond to messages. It represents a powerful weapon for marketers and for those who need to better manage the customer relationship.

Let’s see what the Business version offers compared to traditional WhatsApp.

  1. Create your company profile. 

With WhatsApp Business, you can create your company profile and add other important details to your numbers such as the company website, location and other contact information. You can make your brand easy to recognize.

  1. Working hours. 

You can set the working hours of your company, so customers will know exactly when you are available to give them the information they want.

  1. Set up automatic replies. 

WhatsApp Business allows you to automate messages such as greetings or short answers. You can also save answers to frequently asked questions to avoid re-typing the same messages.

  1. Let your customers find you. 

WhatsApp Business allows you to share your physical location. You can share the store or venue location with your customers in case they request it.

  1. Share marketing promotions. 

You can promote a product launch or share the latest news about your services with your status. Your status is visible to all your customers.

Some data on popularity…

The global ZDNet editorial states that WhatsApp users exchange over 55 billion messages every day, and your customers will probably be among them. We can clarify our ideas even more by taking a look at the infographic survey shown by We Are Social and Hootsuite, about top messenger app in 2018.

Despite all of this, there is a limit: WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business work only with a single phone number and therefore with only one linked account. But we all know that nobody, neither a corporate call center nor a freelancer, can be available 24/7 to respond to customers.

So, how can we fill this gap? How can we run one WhatsApp number on multiple devices simultaneously? We can do it by following alternative routes.

There are some third-party solutions that offer the possibility of extending the multi-user method to WhatsApp. They usually allow access to some API or SDK, through which customers can use WhatsApp or WhatsApp Business simultaneously on more than one device. The effect is very similar if we imagine WhatsApp Web windows open on different PCs.

For example, a company that uses WhatsApp for customer support, even using only one WhatsApp number linked to the company account, can open the WhatsApp chat on two or more PCs and assign the conversation to different agents.

The most appealing aspect is that you don’t necessarily need to be in the same office, but operators could be on opposite sides of the World, and they could still connect to the same account.

Regardless of the way it is used, it’s certainly time to find the best way to integrate WhatsApp into your business communication strategy.

Beware of missing the WhatsApp bus!

About Vanessa Elliott

I’m working as Web Developer and Copywriter at Mercury. After graduating in IT Business Management at Queen Mary University of London, I joined this project aimed at helping companies to grow by integrating AI processes and communication strategies with instant messaging apps. I'm a tech enthusiast and web content author writing about business and digital trends.
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