Facebook gets serious about monetizing WhatsApp

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After reporting not so enticing earnings report, the social network giant is getting serious to monetize WhatsApp, so that the messaging app can start fetching revenue for it and to boost its stagnating profits. Soon, businesses will be able to buy ads and communicate with their customers on the messaging platform.

WhatsApp BusinessWhatsApp has rolled out three new ways through which customers can connect or communicate with a business –

  1. Click-to-Chat button – This button may be available on a website or on a Facebook ad. Customers can tap on the button to immediately start a conversation with a business.
  2. Request helpful information – Customers can provide their phone numbers to the businesses and let them send sensitive and important information or details like boarding pass on WhatsApp.
  3. Get support – This will let businesses to provide their customers with real-time support. This may include resolving an issue or answering a question about their product in a chat.

WhatsApp gave full control to the users over the messages they receive and users will be able to block any business with the ease of just tap of a button. Businesses will have to pay for sending certain messages so they are selective and users’ chats don’t get cluttered. Also, the chats are end-to-end encrypted.

WhatsApp said in the official blog post that initially they will work with a few hundred businesses and will continue to add more in future. The blog post reads, “We will bring more businesses onto WhatsApp over a period of time. To do so, we will work directly with a few hundred businesses and a select number of companies that specialize in managing customer communications.”

Further, Facebook will be showing ads of businesses that link out to WhatsApp, which means, businesses will be able to purchase ads that direct people or potential customers to an already loaded chat with the business on the messaging app. The businesses can then start a conversation with the persons got directed to chat through ads they purchased. For the first 24 hours, the businesses will be able to respond to customers for free, but beyond that Facebook will be charging them for sending responses.

WhatsApp opened the Business platform last year in September and has kept the number of businesses on board undisclosed ever since. However, it said that it has tested the new tools with about 90 businesses including Uber, Wish, Singapore Airlines etc.