WhatsApp is launching new pay-to-use tools for businesses to communicate with their customers.
WhatsApp has also reinforced that the messages on its Business platform would remain end-to-end encrypted similar to its personal messaging application.
Businesses will still only be able to message people who have contacted them first. WhatsApp says it'll allow businesses to respond to customers at no charge for up to 24 hours; after that it'll cost them a fixed rate per message, which will vary by country. This new move comes three months after WhatsApp's former boss Jan Koum announced he was quitting the service he had co-founded.
Businesses will be able to do things like provide real-time customer service and send information like boarding passes or shipping confirmations, WhatsApp wrote in a blog post.
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"When a person taps on an Ad that clicks to WhatsApp, they will be transferred to a pre-filled WhatsApp chat where they can message your business quickly", writes Facebook.
"Businesses will pay to send certain messages so they are selective and your chats don't get cluttered". Hit Block to block a business from sending you further messages.
Facebook has always been testing ways to make money from WhatsApp, which it bought in early 2014 in a deal valued at $19 billion.
"We're introducing the WhatsApp Business API to help businesses manage communications with existing and potential customers at scale".
Facebook on Wednesday set out to make money from WhatsApp with a scheme to connect businesses with customers via the smartphone messaging service.