After years of sticking to a purely subscription-based revenue model, the popular messaging and calling app WhatsApp is finally planning to monetize its services by charging large enterprises for tools that will allow them to establish a better channel for communicating with consumers. A free app will also be developed for small- and medium-sized enterprises, although the company has not yet outlined the functionality of the free app.
The enterprise-version of the envisioned app from WhatsApp is expected to help enterprises provide consumers with useful notifications regarding their services or deliverables. With the help of the enterprise app, consumers could also be able to have a more active participation when interacting with the service providers.
It is projected that WhatsApp could target enterprises such as banks, e-commerce websites, and airlines; in these sectors, the app will help companies to assign several representatives to manage an account and send messages in high volumes. The app could also charge for ecommerce transactions and chatbot functionality.
WhatsApp has also announced the official closure of its pilot program that verifies legitimate enterprise accounts with a green checkmark for the consumers to differentiate them from fake and personal accounts. WhatsApp has also started to test verified business accounts a week ago. Conversations with businesses will be encrypted and can be blocked.
Moreover, business contacts that are not already in the contacts list of ones’ phone number, its name will appear as the name with which the business has registered itself instead of a number. This feature could allow WhatsApp to develop a business search engine with the option of sponsored result, or let businesses to cold-message target consumers, possibly for some fee. Otherwise, businesses on WhatsApp may be required to be contacted by a user before they can send sponsored or organic messages.