WhatsApp May Be Using Multiple Businesses As Part Of Its New Business Model


WhatsApp is a messaging service used by over a billion people worldwide. It is currently testing a system that would allow businesses to talk directly to WhatsApp users. Why is it doing this? Well ever since Facebook acquired WhatsApp, the company hasn’t really developed a business model that could help it to earn money. The tests being done by the company include companies that are part of Y Combinator startup incubator. WhatsApp has made life quite easy when it comes to calls and texts; you can call and text family and friends without any charges.

Business model for WhatsApp and startups

Generating revenue by charging businesses that wish to contact customers is indeed a great idea but it also increases the risk of spam messages. The company is trying to figure out a system that can help avoid such problems. WhatsApp is also doing surveys among users to determine that how many customers talk to businesses via WhatsApp and how many are troubled by spam messages. Only last year WhatsApp announced a plan that it will develop a system, the API – Application programming interface. It used various business examples to explain the idea.

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WhatsApp entered into a deal with Y Combinator last month that would allow various companies become part of this trial. Y Combinator is not an ordinary incubation center; admission to it is extremely competitive. An example of some of the companies that were part of it includes Dropbox and Airbnb. The trial is in its initial stages and a lot has to be done, according to Umer Ilyas co-founder of Cowlar Inc, one of the involved startups. According to him the system will be successful, especially in remote places where WhatsApp is extremely popular.

This young company makes collars for dairy cows. These collars are designed to collect daily data regarding the cows’ activities and then this data in turn can be used to determine ways to improve milk yield. The startup wishes to use the messaging app to send alerts from collars to the farmers if there is some unforeseen problem. According to Ilyas, "It represents a huge opportunity, because in all the big dairy markets - India, Brazil, and Pakistan - a lot of farmers have access to WhatsApp."