Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

Facebook looks to cash in on WhatsApp, possibly without ads

The Whats App messaging application is seen on a phone screen Thomson Reuters
Garry Little | 05 September, 2017, 21:52

Verified accounts will have a green badge next to them, while messages received from businesses will be in yellow. A free standalone mobile app for small businesses will also offer similar features. WhatsApp COO Matt Idema said to the Wall Street Journal: "We do intend on charging businesses in the future". Many believe Facebook will eventually bring ads to the platform as well, although WhatsApp has repeatedly denied those claims.

WhatsApp said past year it would eventually begin testing tools that could let users communicate with companies via secure messages, part of a broader overhaul to make the service more business friendly. The new app is part of WhatsApp's drive to monetize the platform, and it will provide a line of communication between businesses and customers.

WhatsApp is also planning on launching an "enterprise solution" for large companies with worldwide presences (think big banks, airlines, etc.) so they can better connect with their customer bases for direct updates on statements, delivery confirmations, and other communications. The news comes a week after information about verified business accounts began to appear on the WhatsApp site. But at the heart of the WhatsApp Business app is money.

WhatsApp announced that it will be testing in the coming months new tools for businesses to take advantage of the messaging app.

With WhatsApp's impending digital payments foray in India, we are also curious on what role would payments play in the tools that the messaging app is developing for businesses.

We know businesses have many different needs. WhatsApp cofounder Jan Koum has always been a staunch opponent of traditional advertising and has promised that the app will never show ads.

WhatsApp, with its daily user base of over a billion people, could become an integral point in customer service initiatives, especially in areas where it's already being used for that goal.

With 1.3 billion monthly active users, WhatsApp is unquestionably one of the biggest chat apps on the planet, but moves toward monetization have been slow.

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