Facebook Inc (FB) Kicks Off WhatsApp Monetization By Targeting Businesses

The Whats App messaging application is seen on a phone screen

When launched, they could allow businesses that create verified accounts to offer sales and support services to users who agree to be contacted on WhatsApp. The app will be free for small to medium-sized companies, but larger enterprises will be charged. "We're looking forward to making it possible for people to connect with businesses in a fast and personal way, and giving businesses the tools to make that easier to do", said Matt Idema, WhatsApp Chief Operating Officer in a statement. Many believe Facebook will eventually bring ads to the platform as well, although WhatsApp has repeatedly denied those claims.

The Facebook-owned chat platform just announced that it will test some new features designed specifically for business-to-customer messaging, following up on the rumors that it would expand on its offerings.

Facebook has decided how to finally make money from WhatsApp: charge businesses that want to conduct customer support in the app. We want to be where our customers are and, given the 1 billion users, you have to be on WhatsApp. WhatsApp also says that while chats between users and business will be end-to-end encrypted, but in some cases businesses might rely on service providers to manage messages.

For now, WhatsApp is "building and testing new tools via a free WhatsApp Business app for small companies and an enterprise solution for bigger companies operating at a larger scale with a global base of customers, like airlines, e-commerce sites, and banks", the company said in the blog post.

Using WhatsApp to streamline one's flying experience could become a more common occurrence in the near future after a world-first announcement by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines on Tuesday. But he said, "We do see businesses and people use WhatsApp today to talk about products and make enquiries related to purchases and we do want to make it easier for people to do that".

In July, Facebook started showing advertisements inside Messenger, sandwiched between users' conversations when they open the app.

Related news: