WhatsApp tests new business chat features, looks to improve customer communication

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Reuters in March also reported that some of the WhatsApp revenue sources would charge business that intends to contact customers.

According to a blog post, WhatsApp will be offering a free business app for small companies in the coming days.

In an interview to Wall Street Journal, WhatsApp's chief operating officer (COO) Matt Idema also confirmed the company will charge larger enterprises in the future, though they don't have an exact model figured out.

So some of the features WhatsApp will offer are verified accounts of businesses so that people know they are communicating with authentic companies.

More details regarding this new feature and paid services for small companies will be posted in the upcoming blogpost on Tuesday.

Facebook acquired WhatsApp has over a Billion daily active users with Billions of its users around the globe.

The messaging application WhatsApp was started in the year 2009.

Adding security into the mix, verified businesses will be given "official presence" status via a green badge tick next to their contact name.

One of the first pilot partners for WhatsApp business is the luxury e-commerce giant Yoox Net-A-Porter (YNAP). We do plan to charge the business in future. Globally, the trials included Dutch airline KLM and Itau Bank in Brazil.

India is a key market that's home to WhatsApp's single largest user base of 200 million. WhatsApp for business will allow users and businesses to communicate with each other using the messaging platform. So, making a new feature directed at businesses seems to be the only way to monetise. When the messaging service starts charging companies to use the tools, it will be a departure from Facebook's current monetization approach, which depends nearly exclusively on ad dollars.

Unveiled in February, Status is WhatsApp's version of Snapchat Stories.

Until 2016, WhatsApp used to charge users an annual subscription fee of Rs 55 (or $1) and since the discontinuation of the fee, the company has been looking for avenues to monetize their platform. WhatsApp said that it will listen to user feedback during the testing phase, and will keep users informed as the tools are made more widely available to businesses.

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