Imagine being able to WhatsApp message your favorite restaurant to make a reservation or to place an order. That might happen sooner than you think.

Twitter, in many regards, is the largest platform on which businesses communicate with their customers. Many companies, including electronics companies like Samsung and HTC, use the little blue bird to interact directly with users online, and whether it’s inquiries about software update schedule or promotional events, having strong online presence could help retain customer loyalty by providing more convenient and faster customer support. Facebook jumped on the bandwagon not too long ago, offering verified businesses the option to allow users to message them online.

It seems the social media giant is expanding that service in an effort to compete with the likes of Twitter and will be bringing business support to WhatsApp as well. For now, it remains a pilot program, so only select businesses are online, but the way it works is very similar to the way it works on Facebook. Verified participating businesses will have a green check badge next to them so that you know these are confirmed by WhatsApp. Your messages to businesses will be displayed in yellow chat bubbles, which you cannot delete.

As WhatsApp explains, the businesses’ display names will work exactly like normal contacts:

If you already have a business’s phone number saved in your address book, the name you will see is the name you have saved in your address book. If you don’t have a business’s phone number saved in your address book, the name you will see is the name the business has chosen for themselves.

And if you, for whatever reason, want to stop a business from contacting you, you can simply block them.

Calling is already an obsolete concept, but with social media platforms pushing for online interactions between businesses and customers, it might soon become a truly ancient custom.

Calling is already an obsolete concept, but with social media platforms pushing for online messaging interactions between businesses and customers, it might soon become a truly ancient custom. Do you prefer to talk to businesses online via text messages? Or would you still want to talk to them on the phone? Let us know by leaving a comment below!