When one thinks of messaging a friend, colleague or family member, WhatsApp is probably the first free messaging application that comes to mind. Even though it is one of the most popular apps across the world, it was completely free until now. However, seems like Facebook, which took over WhatsApp, has now decided to monetize WhatsApp. WhatsApp is soon launching its revenue generating business API in India.
“WhatsApp Business is an Android app which is free to download, and was built with the small business owner in mind. With the app, businesses can interact with customers easily by using tools to automate, sort, and quickly respond to messages,” said WhatsApp. A report on The Economic Times mentions that WhatsApp for Business APIs will debut with MakeMyTrip. Hence, soon MakeMyTrip will be able to send airline tickets and other travel details to customers.
“When you need a shipping confirmation or boarding pass, you can give your mobile number to a business on their website, on their app, or in their store to send you information on WhatsApp,” said WhatsApp. “Businesses will pay to send certain messages so they are selective and your chats don’t get cluttered. In addition, messages will remain end-to-end encrypted and you can block any business with the tap of a button,” they added.
Another report on Wall Street mentions that ads will soon start featuring on WhatsApp. The report also says that the company will charge between a half a penny and 9 cents (approximately 34 paise to Rs. 6.2) for every message delivered to WhatsApp user. It is to be seen if this step will prove to be useful for the declining revenue growth of Facebook.