WhatsApp Finally Begins Generating Revenue by Charging Businesses
Four years after Facebook Inc. bought WhatsApp for $22 billion. It might seem like an astronomical price to pay for a messaging platform, but it came with the data of the one billion odd people that use it. Pre-acquisition, WhatsApp was free for a year, following which a user had to pay a paltry sum of $1 to continue using it. Until now, Facebook did not attempt to monetise the platform. But with both the original creators out of the picture, it looks like Facebook is finally trying to make some money out of it.
WhatsApp for Business users to get charged for some services
Whatsapp rolled out some new features for its business users, some of which cost money. The WhatsApp Business API is launching to let businesses respond to messages from users for free for up to 24 hours but will charge them a fixed rate by country per message sent after that. The messages are set to cost between 0.5 cents to 9 cents (0.3p to 7p) a text based on the user's location. They can be automated or provided by human customer assistants. Companies will be able to provide information and services, such as delivery dates or boarding passes, to customers via the platform for which the businesses will have to pay a fee for a confirmed delivery. WhatsApp could eventually charge for all replies or any that exceed a volume threshold or cut down the free window.
If the above image seems out of context, it won't in a minute. WhatsApp is planning to run ads in its Snapchat Stories clone called Status. WhatsApp does not currently run ads in Status but might start doing so by 2019. Companies can also add a link to their WhatsApp chat on their website or pay Facebook to promote the chats in an ad. The only silver lining is that all messages will continue to remain end-to-end encrypted, meaning that only the sender and recipient can read it. The move comes as no surprise as Facebook is in dire need of new revenue streams after their recent stock market debacle. You can't really blame a business for trying to make money now, can you?
News Source: WhatsApp Blog