Businesses that want to serve customers on Whatsapp will be made to pay for the service.
Whatsapp will charge large companies that want to be verified and have access to a suite of automated tools for helping and responding to customers, the Facebook owned app announced on Tuesday, September 6, 2017.
Small businesses too will have a standalone app offering similar features.
The Facebook owned company is currently testing the model with a handful of private businesses with no official announcement of the rolling out dates nor the prices it intends to charge businesses for access to this service.
Whatsapp plans to let you know you are chatting with a business via yellow messages to be indicated in the chat, and interestingly, you won’t be able to delete messages from such chat, because the messaging company wants you to always have a record of every conversation exchanged with a business.
“WhatsApp has simplified communication for people around the world. Now, we want to apply this same approach to bringing businesses onto WhatsApp in ways that create value for people," WhatsApp chief operating officer Matt Idema said in a statement shared with Business Insider.
"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.”
WhatsApp envisions letting businesses like airlines and banks field customer questions and provide updates for things like flight times. A payments service is also in the works for WhatsApp, which could open the door for Facebook to charge businesses for conducting transactions.
Facebook which acquired Whatsapp for $22 billion in 2014 , initially attempted to charge users $1 per year but cancelled it early 2016. Whatsapp co-founder Jan Koum does not advocate monetizing the app by showing ads.
This looks like a winning strategy for monetizing the popular instant messaging app.