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WhatsApp tests free Business app, but will charge larger enterprises

05 Septembre 2017

The Facebook-owned chat platform just announced that it will test some new features designed specifically for business-to-customer messaging, following up on the rumors that it would expand on its offerings. We're building and testing new tools via a free WhatsApp Business app for small companies and an enterprise solution for bigger companies operating at a large scale with a global base of customers, like airlines, e-commerce sites, and banks. To help users tell apart businesses and individuals, the company is also rolling out dedicated verification badges.

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. "We've heard stories of shopkeepers who use WhatsApp to stay in touch with hundreds of customers from a single smartphone, and from people who are unsure about whether or not a business on WhatsApp is authentic". Both said that it's still early days when it comes to monetization of these apps but stressed that they are part of the company's long-term plans for engaging users.

WhatsApp has confirmed that it is testing a new business app as well aimed at enterprise solutions. WhatsApp is 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 said the chats between consumers and businesses will be encrypted end-to-end and consumers will also be able to block businesses from contacting them. "India is very significant", Idema said.

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Idema joined WhatsApp from Facebook in February 2017.

The social networking giant snatched up WhatsApp in 2014 for a whopping $22 billion, but the popular messaging service still isn't making Facebook much cash despite WhatsApp's 1 billion daily users.

WhatsApp tests free Business app, but will charge larger enterprises