WhatsApp started rolling out verified business accounts last week, and the comapny is now detailing its monetization plans. WhatsApp will offer a Business app that makes it easier for businesses to respond to messages, share updates, and more. WhatsApp basically wants to be the app you turn to when you want to place an order with a local bakery or get flight updates from your airline.
As for monetization, WhatsApp will provide its Business app to small-to-medium businesses for free, but will also roll out an "enterprise solution" for bigger companies with a global footprint, like banks, airlines, and e-commerce sites. The latter will be the main source of revenue for the messaging service. From the WhatsApp blog:
There's a lot of potential for a service like this in countries like India, where WhatsApp usage is ubiquitous. Over 200 million users — or a fifth of WhatsApp's global userbase — is from India, and the messaging platform is already being used by hundreds of local businesses to interact with their customers.
A ticket booking platform like BookMyShow can now leverage the business features to provide its customers with information on upcoming movies and events, and services like Ola and Uber can use WhatsApp to deliver OTPs.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.