Back when WhatsApp launched WhatsApp Business in September last year, they promised that business users will get charged at some point. Well, it seems that point is arriving sooner than most expected. WhatsApp business has over 3 million users and WhatsApp are now releasing a business API that will bring a number of changes to WhatsApp Business.
Most interestingly, Businesses will be charged if they don’t reply customers within 24 hours. The charges are yet to be disclosed neither are details of when these charges will actually go live.
Does this make sense?
I think this is a great way to monetize WhatsApp. Businesses are being given an option; either reply potential customers quickly or pay for late replies. This means everyone wins because businesses reply customer queries quickly and in turn more customers turn to using WhatsApp business because they have an opportunity to avoid awkward call centres but still get quick responses. Simple as that.
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What else is coming to Business?
Another interesting feature that will be coming to users is the ability to give your mobile number to a business on their website, on their app, or in their store to send you information on WhatsApp.
Facebook is also working with WhatsApp to create ads that “click to WhatsApp.” The concept will work as follows: A business will have an advert on Facebook and from that advert users will be able to click on a “send message” button which opens up WhatsApp and allows user to communicate with the business.
Show me the money
This is not WhatsApp’s first attempt at monetizing and it seems a lot of the changes were already in the pipeline. Soon, there will be ads popping up in WhatsApp Status and I think this is a great way to bring advertising to WhatsApp without making it too intrusive. Though I would prefer a WhatsApp without ads, making sure that the ads are not appearing in user conversations is a good compromise. WhatsApp Status’ are totally avoidable, so if you hate ads then you can just avoid the Status’ altogether.