It’s been some years since Facebook bought WhatsApp for $22 billion. Now it seems that the company owned by Mark Zuckerberg is finally rolling out its plan for making money from WhatsApp: by charging businesses that want to conduct customer support in the app.
WhatsApp has a program for businesses and will charge large companies that want to be verified and have access to a suite of automated tools for helping and responding to customers.
WhatsApp is currently testing its business program privately with a handful of businesses around the world and hasn’t said when it will make the program more widely available. It also hasn’t said how much it plans to charge businesses for access to its full suite of tools.
WhatsApp envisions letting businesses like airlines and banks, field customer questions and provides updates for things like flight times, the company said in a blog post on Tuesday.
It should be interesting to see how this new venture will play out. Ghanaian businesses and entrepreneurs have used WhatsApp for customer support as well as marketing. How much it would cost to use WhatsApp for businesses will definitely play a factor in adoption but my guess is that businesses will take a strong look at it.