It seems Facebook has finally found the key to utilize WhatsApp as a money-making platform. Even after buying the messaging application for a staggering $22 billion, WhatsApp hadn’t contributed much to Facebook’s bottom line, despite holding more than $1 billion daily users.
Facebook recently revealed they plan to charge businesses for “WhatsApp Services” that help them connect with their customers. The social media giant refused to describe these new features in detail, but indicated that they will be made available through the current free tools WhatsApp is providing to businesses. These tools are already available in few countries, and have been proven to help companies answer customer queries and share updates. The user only needs to opt-in to be contacted.
According to Chief Operating Officer Matt Idema, “We (Facebook) do intend to charge businesses in the future.” He declined to elaborate on the paid features or when these features will be made available, adding, “we don’t have the details of monetization figured out.”
These new features will allow Facebook to build a strong business model around WhatsApp services, and they should help businesses connect and collaborate with their customers.
Another benefit of using paid services that they should eliminate cumbersome ads from WhatsApp’s interface. At the moment, Facebook is making majority of its money from advertising and expanded ads on other platforms like Facebook Messenger and Instagram. The company has not completely ruled out the availability of ads on WhatsApp, but stated the focus was on business features.