A report by Reuter states that Whatsapp has begun testing ways for businesses to directly message their consumers. So Whatsapp may soon be ready to make real money.
Whatsapp used to charge a $0.99 annual fees, but after being acquired by Facebook, Whatsapp abandoned the annual fee. Whatsapp had then said that it will let the users interact with businesses and organization with the aim of making money. So this step by Whatsapp wasn’t that unexpected.
The Reuters report said, that some Y Combinator startups have begun testing the feature,
“The trial is still in the early stages, said Umer Ilyas, co-founder of Cowlar Inc, one of the startups involved. The system is highly anticipated in remote places where WhatsApp is especially popular, he said.
Cowlar makes collars for dairy cows, collecting data on their activity and recommending changes to improve milk yield. The company, which is testing the collars in the United States, wants to use WhatsApp to send automatic alerts from the collars directly to farmers if say, a cow is not behaving normally, Ilyas said.”
Another report by Mashable also supports the Reuters report. It suggests that a variant of Whatsapp, called Whatsapp for Business is being tested in India.
This step is quite similar to what Facebook did with its Messenger. The change had led to a huge increase in business related bots in Facebook. Whatsapp is more popular communication tool than Messenger in many areas, so taking a similar approach with Whatsapp makes sense.
Now it has to be seen when this features for Whatsapp will be officially announced.