May 19, 2022 10 min read

5 Excellent WhatsApp Business alternatives

You probably already know that WhatsApp Business is a powerful tool for communicating with your customers. But not every customer uses WhatsApp, so what are the alternatives?

In this article, we’ll look at five popular alternatives to WhatsApp Business: Instagram, Facebook Messenger, Google Business Messages, Telegram, and SMS. Learn how your business can use these in place of – or in addition to – WhatsApp.

Use Instagram instead of WhatsApp Business

Instagram hit the 2 billion mark of active monthly users in December 2021, but they aren’t even on this report for most popular messaging apps. So, why are they on our excellent WhatsApp Business alternatives list? Because 68% of Instagram users are on the platform to interact with creators. These are social users seeking to make active, direct connections with businesses.

All of your Instagram messages can feed into your Trengo inbox and you’ll never skip a beat. Use Trengo’s Instagram DM API so you can start and grow loyal (and profitable) relationships with your followers.

Use Facebook Messenger instead of WhatsApp Business

Another option in lieu of WhatsApp Business is Facebook Messenger. Facebook Messenger is used only half as much as WhatsApp, but with almost 1 billion active monthly users, it’s still an incredibly popular social messaging channel. It’s also easy to integrate Messenger with Trengo.

Because Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are all owned by Meta, you may be wondering how much difference there is among these platforms. Here are a few to keep in mind:

  • Facebook Messenger is closely tied to your Facebook profile, while WhatsApp Business is tied to the contacts on your phone.
  • On Messenger, you can send a message to someone who you know has looked at your content, but you don’t have to be established contacts first. With WhatsApp Business, the consumer needs to reach out to you first if they aren’t on your contact list.
  • You’re not limited on the number of pictures you can send through Messenger like you are on WhatsApp Business.
  • The look and feel of Messenger is more up-to-date if that’s something that matters for your market positioning and branding.

Depending on the market you sell in, there may be differences in user demographics as well. There’s some overlap between Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram users, but it’s important to know which of these platforms your target customers use most.

Use Google Business Messages instead of WhatsApp Business

Google Business Messages was first created as an instant messaging app for Google’s Android users. Apple iOS users can also use Google Business Messages, although the interface and experience may be slightly different from the Android user experience. Don’t let that stop you from considering Google Business Messages, though, because it’s connected to Google My Business. That’s the conversion-generating info box with maps, reviews, and contact information that pops up in Google search results for local businesses.

When you claim your company’s Google My Business profile, you can make the most of features like updating business hours, offering online orders for pickup and delivery, and enabling Google Business Messaging.

See where we’re going with this? A customer searches for your business. Your Google My Business profile pops up at the top of the results. The customer can tap or click to immediately contact you via Google Business Messages, so you can engage with them while they’re planning to make a purchase.

Similar to WhatsApp Business, Google protects customers from getting spammed, by cutting off your ability to respond 24 hours after they contact your business. So make sure you have automated responses and streamlined live customer support ready to go. (Hint: Trengo makes it easy to integrate Google Business Messages.)

Use Telegram instead of WhatsApp Business

Telegram clocks in with half a billion monthly active users. That may be only a quarter that of WhatsApp Business, but it has some unique features that make it a desirable option for messaging. For one thing, Telegram is the most popular messaging option in several regions of the world, including the Baltic states and parts of Eastern Europe and Western and Central Asia.

The main features that Telegram touts are its privacy and security. In addition to end-to-end message encryption, Telegram also uses user names rather than real names and phone numbers, which allows a certain amount of anonymity.

Telegram isn’t part of a large conglomerate like Meta, which appeals to some users. But it has the standard features that most messaging apps have, like group messages, voice calls, video calls, and sending files and stickers. This means you can send things like FAQs, a catalog, or product images, making Telegram a good option for customer service in markets where it’s popular.

Use SMS instead of WhatsApp Business

SMS messages, aka text messages, won’t go away, even though this technology was around long before social media and messaging apps. SMS messages are quick to send through a cellular service, they’re inexpensive or free, and sending a text usually feels like less of a hassle for young digital natives than making a phone call.

One of the main reasons that SMS is so popular is that there are still many people around the world using feature phones instead of smartphones, and there are still markets where internet access is unaffordable, unreliable, or nonexistent. Because SMS uses cellular technology instead of the internet, it’s become the most reliable and effective way to reach millions of people in remote regions and in many African countries.

There are also markets where people have smartphones and reliable internet but just prefer SMS. Consider the U.S., where nearly 3 trillion SMS messages were sent in 2020. Managing your SMS messages through Trengo can help your business reach these users and stay connected.

FAQs

How can I get Facebook Messenger messages on Instagram?

Open Instagram and click on the hamburger in the upper right corner. Select ‘settings’ ****and then select ‘Meta accounts center.’ This is where you control the settings for the connected experiences across Instagram and Facebook Messenger. Select ‘update messaging.’

Can you use Instagram Messenger on the computer?

Yes you can access Instagram DMs and messaging features on your desktop or laptop. Trengo makes it easier to manage them all, without having to toggle between websites and apps.

Does Google My Business messaging store text messages?

Yes, Google Business Messages are stored in the cloud, and you can export and download them. However, if you or someone on your team deletes a message, it’s gone from all your linked business devices, even though the customer will still be able to see it.

If you’re ready to see how we make it a snap to manage multiple messaging channels, you can sign up for a free 14-day Trengo trial to get started.

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