WhatsApp to start charging business users

  • WhatsApp to start charging business users

WhatsApp to start charging business users

Ever since WhatsApp Business rolled out in January 2018, several enterprises have been using it informally to send updates to customers and offer service support.

WhatsApp also highlighted how people can connect with a business in its blog.

While WhatsApp has a global reach of over 1.5 billion users, in the past if businesses wanted to make use of WhatsApp's API they had to deal with the Facebook-owned company directly, which proved to be slow and hard.

WhatsApp has been testing the new messaging tools since previous year with about select businesses, including Uber, Wish, and Singapore Airlines. The API will let users initiate chats with business, while business will be able to send "non-promotional content" such as shipping confirmations, appointment reminders or event tickets.

Users can also send messages to the business to ask questions, and responding to these messages will be free, for the first 24 hours - but will come at a premium thereafter, when compared to SMS rates.

The move comes three months after WhatsApp's former boss Jan Koum announced he was quitting the service he had co-founded.

Recall that Facebook had paid $19 billion to buy WhatsApp in 2014 and there has been growing speculation about how Facebook meant to make money from it.

WhatsApp will begin to charge companies for responding to customer queries through its app.

A man poses with a smartphone in front of displayed Whatsapp logo in this illustration September 14, 2017.

In addition to launching the Business API, the company will also launch a new display advertisement product on Facebook which will encourage people to start WhatsApp conversations with them.

"We're introducing the WhatsApp Business API to help businesses manage communications with existing and potential customers at scale". Hit Block to block a business from sending you further messages. Answering someone within 24 hours costs nothing, but replying any later will incur a charge.