WhatsApp to introduce a new messaging service for businesses

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WhatsApp has earned itself a lot of goodwill thanks to a “no ads” policy and the scrapping of yearly subscription plans. Now, it’s trying a new approach to making money by piloting a service aimed specifically at businesses.

According to Hindustan Times, WhatsApp will be launching a service for commercial businesses called WhatsApp for Business in India – WhatsApp’s largest market – where it has over 200 million users.

“WhatsApp for Business is all about small and medium businesses, where you have a small employee count and a large customer count, and the goals are very different,” Brian Acton, co-founder of WhatsApp, told the Hindustan Times on Friday, 25th February 2017 – one day after the service’s 8th birthday.

The new app will be separate from the non-business messaging app. According to Acton, WhatsApp for Business will allow small business, large brands, and enterprises to communicate with a large pool of consumers, without spamming them.

“(While) users can stay in touch with families and their loved ones, [and] order groceries from their local grocer… there are stories of doctors using the product to communicate with patients,” he explained.

WhatsApp is taking advantage of India’s massive ecosystem of 35 million small and medium businesses to pilot the app and teach the company what it can do to make the lives of users better. Businesses will pay a certain fee to use the service; there’s no word on what that fee will be, however.

After India, the app will head to other large markets such as Brazil and Indonesia.

We don’t know for sure if it will make an appearance in South Africa some day, but we’re pretty confident that we’ll see it here should it prove successful in other territories.

[Source – Hindustan Times]

 

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