WhatsApp just announced its plan to monetize the app by making a move into the business of customer support. The company gave a formal announcement of two new business tools that will be made available including the WhatsApp Business App which is standalone and will be charging companies in the future. Of course, this is if they choose to use WhatsApp’s new tools.
WhatsApp’s Business app will allow customers to communicate to firms via messages on the app itself instead of phone calls or e-mails. The announcement came in just a week after WhatsApp announced that it's started to verify the companies that are using the app with a green check mark.
According to the blog post that announced the new app, there are over 1 billion people who are using WhatsApp on a day to day basis. They use the app to stay connected with family and friends. Over time, people have learned to use the app to communicate with firms and businesses too.
The blog post also said that many connections take place every single day, may it be by someone who’s just placing an order for a pizza delivery or someone who’s on the lookout for a new style and trend from a local clothing store.
The post also described how WhatsApp’s traditional platform failed both customers and businesses due to the fact that shopkeepers experienced difficulties when using the app to stay in touch with thousands of customers on just a single mobile device.
What's more, the company also gained negative feedback from customers as they could not tell whether the businesses that are on WhatsApp were, in fact, authentic.
According to WhatsApp, they are testing and building tools continually via the WhatsApp Business app, which is given free for the use of small companies. The tools will also be given as an enterprise solution to bigger companies that operate at a much larger scale and with a global customer base such as e-commerce sites, banks, or airlines.
What’s the bottom line?
In the upcoming months, the company will be testing brand new features that will solve some of the challenges that companies are now facing in terms of customer support. WhatsApp aims to make it easier and more efficient for people to reach businesses and firms that they want to communicate with.
When Facebook bought WhatsApp for almost $20 billion in 2014, it said that it won't put any ads on the app as that would certainly degrade the experience. Facebook also ditched the annual subscription fee of $1, which left the company with only a few monetization options apart from charging businesses for the use of tools.
While Facebook displays sponsored messages and ads on Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp has taken a relaxed stance against ads. Since WhatsApp already has more than 1 billion of users daily, it has reached the scale necessary to be able to earn a significant revenue from light advertising.