WhatsApp is the world’s most popular cross-platform messaging service. It’s free for all users and doesn’t serve any ads. However, after reporting less than desirable earnings last Wednesday, Facebook is now showing that it’s getting serious about making money from WhatsApp. Fortunately, its new revenue stream for WhatsApp won’t impact the average user’s experience with the service.

WhatsApp added new tools last year to help people and businesses communicate with each other. It has received feedback that users find it quicker and easier to chat with a business than making a call or sending an email.

Three new ways for customers to interact with businesses have now been rolled out. They include a shortcut button to immediately launch a chat, the ability for businesses to send importation information such as a boarding pass, and provide real-time support on WhatsApp.

It will now be displaying ads of businesses that link out to WhatsApp. This means that businesses will now be able to buy ads which direct people to an already loaded chat with the business on WhatsApp and they can start communicating with the customer from there. Businesses will be able to respond to customers for free if they answer within 24 hours. They will be charged for responses after 24 hours.

This won’t apply to small businesses as they will be able to reply to customers one-by-one for free. Large businesses will now be charged a fixed rate by country per message sent after the first 24 hours. This will be managed through the WhatsApp Business API that has been launched today.

It’s the first real attempt that Facebook has made to make money off of WhatsApp. The average user will be happy to see that the attempt doesn’t impact their user experience in any way.

Filed in General. Read more about Whatsapp. Source: blog.whatsapp

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