WhatsApp launches Business APIs, to charge customers

The messaging app is getting a load of new features to make it more useful to businesses and their customers

The move will allow its owner, Facebook, to make money from WhatsApp, which has lacked a revenue stream since dropping subscription fees.

There are two ways to create a business profile on WhatsApp. The main aim of the app is to reach all the potential customers at scale.

WhatsApp Status, which has 450 million users globally, will use Facebook's native advertising system. It spends heavily to improve privacy safeguards as well as to tackles concerns about the social media addiction.

And while the fees mentioned are insignificant, keep in mind that WhatsApp has a user pool of over 1.5 billion which it can use to its advantage. The new API opens up customer experiences to users all over the world.

This is exactly what many feared when Facebook snapped up WhatsApp for over $22 billion in 2014. The companies can now use the API to send the customized notifications with relevant events to the customers. Chief operating officer Matt Idema said at the time that the WhatsApp intends to charge businesses in the future.

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"Facebook Ads that click to WhatsApp help people discover your business, help you engage with them to explain your product or service and grow a relationship", the social network's team said.

"WhatsApp is a powerful channel for businesses seeking to deliver an enhanced customer experience for their customers", said IDC group vice-president of worldwide telecommunications research, Courtney Monroe. "Twilio's API for WhatsApp is a compelling proposition for its clients to empower their global North American customers to expand their geographical reach, while simultaneously broadening their base to serve regional customers internationally".

'Businesses will pay to send certain messages so they are selective and your chats don't get cluttered. Furthermore, businesses can respond to customers without paying a dime as long as this happens within 24 hours, while charges will be incurred if it exceeds the grace period.

Brands can only buy Click-to-WhatsApp ads by boosting an organic Page post and selecting a menu option to add the click-to-WhatsApp button.

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