Facebook Inc said Thursday it will start charging companies for some its WhatsApp Business chat services.
WhatsApp Business allows small and medium businesses to chat with customers, provide support, and sell products directly. Facebook has said it will soon offer services like hosting, to help partners manage chat messages with clients, inventory and more.
WhatsApp Business has more than 50 million business users and that 175 million people around the world message a business each day. Facebook has not been charging for WhatsApp Business up to now, but it has charged for some WhatsApp business messages. Now, with more services coming into the mix, the tech company will start charging you.
“We will charge business customers for some of the services we offer, which will help WhatsApp continue building a business of our own while we provide and expand free end-to-end encrypted text, video and voice calling for more than two billion people,” WhatsApp notes.
After research, Facebook has said people prefer to message a business to get help and they are more likely to make a purchase if their messages are received, now WhatsApp will gradually roll out new features that will enable businesses and consumers to make purchases.
Some of the new in-app purchasesinclude enabling users to check out available products and make purchases right from a chat. In addition, businesses will integrate these features into their existing commerce and customer solutions. This service will rely on Facebook Shops which was launched in May this year.
WhatsApp will also sell hosting dubbed Facebook Hosting Services to enable businesses manage their WhatsApp messages. Businesses will host and manage customer communications thus enabling them to sell products, keep their inventory up to date. WhatsApp says that the growth in remote working will enable the business to quickly respond to messages wherever their employees are.
Facebook said it will use some of the revenue from business sales to continue to offer free services to its more than two billion WhatsApp users.
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