Meta earns revenue by introducing WhatsApp trading services
More than eight years after agreeing to buy one of the world’s largest messaging apps, the company, formerly known as Facebook, has decided to start monetizing it.
WhatsApp, a popular messaging service owned by Meta, the parent company of Facebook, said on Thursday that it would launch a commercial service for those who want to use messaging apps to power their business. It is WhatsApp’s biggest step towards monetizing the service, which is used by over one billion people worldwide.
The new initiative gives business owners access to the WhatsApp Cloud Application Programming Interface, a way to create a custom dashboard at the top of WhatsApp software so they can more easily chat with customers and serve customers.
“This is an important step in helping more businesses connect with people and getting more people to send messages to businesses they want to support – big and small,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at the event announcing the new service.
WhatsApp plans to charge users based on the number of conversations they have with customers per day, ranging from a percentage to more than 10 cents per conversation, depending on the region. It also plans to offer free classes with limited services for small businesses.
The move is Meta’s strongest signal that it wants to start generating meaningful revenue from WhatsApp, especially as it faces many business challenges. Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014 for $ 22 billion, making it the company’s most expensive acquisition. For years, WhatsApp was free to use while Meta cost hundreds of millions of dollars to run and support.
Now making more money has become the most important thing. Meta’s advertising business was affected by Apple’s switch to the iPhone operating system, and the company lost tens of millions of users in Russia after being banned in the country. The war in Ukraine also shocked some of Meta’s campaign operations.
In addition, Meta is leading a difficult transition to becoming a “metaverse” company that provides people with an immersive digital experience. In February, a quarter of the company’s market capitalization was destroyed – more than $ 230 billion – after a disappointing earnings report.
WhatsApp has a history of hesitant to monetize its services. The company’s founders vowed to advertise the app, and after confusing the idea of charging each user $ 1 a year to use the service, Facebook executives dismissed the idea as too anemic and difficult to scale.
In 2018, the founders of WhatsApp headed out the door. Zuckerberg has announced plans to integrate all messaging services into apps he owns, such as WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram. The company has made changes that allow Facebook to gather more insight into how people use WhatsApp. WhatsApp keeps those changes are not used for ad tracking purposes.
Meanwhile, WhatsApp access continues to spread globally, being embraced by millions of users in Brazil and South America, as well as throughout the Middle East and most of the European Union.
Many of them include small and medium businesses that use free WhatsApp to talk to customers. But the experience, WhatsApp said, is clunky and sometimes difficult to navigate, and was not designed with business services in mind.
WhatsApp’s new product is expected to address that, and make it easier for businesses to communicate with their customers using the app. Cloud hosting will also be reserved for businesses that pay for the Cloud API.
Zuckerberg says WhatsApp has more than a billion users connecting with businesses across messaging services every week, and new products will make it easier for businesses and customers.
“Today, most of us use our feeds to discover interesting content and stay tuned,” Zuckerberg said at the event, “but for a deeper level of engagement, messaging has become the center of our digital life.”