WhatsApp hasn’t had a revenue generating model based on in-app ads, and it still doesn’t want to, except now it will start to charge businesses to use the medium to communicate with consumers about important updates. It did away with it’s $1 subscription way back as well.
Reuters gave some examples of its use: airlines sending notifications of flight delays or banks asking users to confirm their identity following unusual card activity.
According to this report by Reuters, WhatsApp is currently testing this feature on startups under the Y Combinator startup incubator and is trying to find just just how much consumers already communicate with businesses on the messaging app. It will also find ways to avoid spam in this B2C communication feature.
“The trial is still in the early stages”, said Umer Ilyas, co-founder of Cowlar Inc, one of the Y combinator startups involved. “The system is highly anticipated in remote places where WhatsApp is especially popular.”