WhatsApp used to be a simple instant messaging application a couple of years back. The revenue system of the chat was not well defined. However, after Facebook acquired the application at a hefty amount ($19 billion), it's making sure the app can start generating revenue. In last year's Facebook conference, the company had outlined a few methods to make WhatsApp a more investor friendly entity.
Company chief, Mark Zuckerberg mentioned that through WhatsApp, companies will be able to interact with their desired customer in a very personal and direct way. The feature is finally seeing the light of the day and is being tested by WhatsApp.
According to a report by Reuters, there is no official announcement about the tests, but the feature is being used by business ventures like Y Combinator, a United States based seed accelerator, which helps promising young tech firms grow rapidly.
This new feature falls perfectly in line with what WhatsApp's promise to focus on rolling out commercial messaging this year for businesses as it looks to tap into enterprises for monetising its platform.
The business model has previously been put to use on Facebook's Messenger. The user can not only interact with various businesses but also complete the payment with the application. The same chat-bot model might come into play with WhatsApp.
WhatsApp hardly used to benefit from its subscription charges, which does not justify Facebook's mighty investment in the application. This new feature will turn that around and help WhatsApp generate revenue by giving businesses direct access to over 1 billion users.
India is also the biggest market for WhatsApp. Of its over one billion users, about 200 million are here. Last month, Brian Acton, co-founder of popular messaging app WhatsApp, called IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to discuss ways in which the company can contribute to Indias vision for digital commerce.
Highlighting the countrys importance, Acton said WhatsApp hopes to contribute more to "Indias vision for digital commerce in future".
Facebook-owned WhatsApp has almost become the default messaging application for people in countries like India and Brazil. In India, it competes with the likes of Hike, Snapchat and Viber.