News Worms
News Worms

WhatsApp starts testing tools for businesses

WhatsApp starts testing tools for businesses

WhatsApp's program for businesses will charge large companies that want to be verified and have access to a suite of automated tools for helping and responding to customers, the Facebook-owned app announced on Tuesday.

"We are trying to make the interaction easier with businesses", WhatsApp chief operating officer Matt Idema told ET in a phone interview.

Importantly, the service will give WhatsApp another opportunity to monetize, which has been a challenge for the messaging-heavy platform since it was acquired by Facebook.

WhatsApp said previous year it would eventually begin testing tools that could let users communicate with companies via secure messages, part of a broader overhaul to make the service more business friendly.

WhatsApp has confirmed that it is testing a new business app as well aimed at enterprise solutions.

For now, WhatsApp is "building and testing new tools via a free WhatsApp Business app for small companies and an enterprise solution for bigger companies operating at a larger scale with a global base of customers, like airlines, e-commerce sites, and banks", the company said in the blog post.

With WhatsApp's impending digital payments foray in India, we are also curious on what role would payments play in the tools that the messaging app is developing for businesses.

Unlike Messenger which relies on advertising revenue, WhatsApps monetization model will involve streamlined communication features for fielding customer enquiries and sending out updates to followers.

WhatsApp is now open for business (es). But he said, "We do see businesses and people use WhatsApp today to talk about products and make enquiries related to purchases and we do want to make it easier for people to do that". WhatsApp cofounder Jan Koum has always been a staunch opponent of traditional advertising and has promised that the app will never show ads.

Facebook is finally looking into cashing in on WhatsApp's massive $22 billion acquisition deal.

KLM is the first airline worldwide with a verified WhatsApp business account and one of a number of businesses testing ways for businesses to communicate with customers using the messaging service.


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