It’s been four years since Facebook purchased messaging app WhatsApp and now finally its parent company is telling it to get off its butt and start making money. Okay, not exactly in those terms but WhatsApp’s recent announcement about “growing our tools for business” seem to indicate just that. While they are positioning it as a way for customers and businesses to connect with each other, there is, of course, some monetization involved, at least on the side of the business or brand.
The WhatsApp Business app has been available for some time now, but they are looking to add more tools for brands and customers to have more meaningful interaction on the platform. You can give your WhatsApp number to a business for shipping confirmation or boarding pass and they can send the details to you over the app. Businesses can also now add a click-to-chat button on their website or on a Facebook ad so customers can quickly send a message or inquiry to them. Businesses can also simply just provide real-time support for users of their products.
So how will WhatsApp earn money from this, you ask? Businesses will be able to reply to customers for free for up to 24 hours. If it goes beyond that, they’ll have to pay a fixed rate for each message that they respond to. Obviously, businesses that don’t want to cough up money will have to respond quickly to messages or else they’ll become part of Facebook’s monetization plans for its messaging app.
The rates that they will have to pay vary per country, but it’s somewhere between .5 cents to 9 cents per message. Messages will still have end-to-end encryption even though it’s between private users and businesses but companies may keep copies of the exchanged messages. And in case certain brands are becoming too spammy for comfort, you can always block them with just one tap of a button.
WhatsApp says they will be bringing in more businesses into this platform over time but for now, they will work with a few hundred businesses and select companies as part of a sort-of pilot program.
VIA: The Next Web
August 3, 2018 at 12:05AM