We are almost there; WhatsApp is pretty much getting to the finish line per monetization. According to Hüseyin Filiz, a fan and a reader on Android Police who spotted it first, the Facebook-chat app is testing a standalone WhatsApp Business app. A standalone app gives us the clearest indication yet that the company is not only launching a service independent of its main app, but is in advanced stage of monetizing its service.
The service of course, is still being tested by a handful of users, and the feedback would probably go a long way to determine how soon the app gets to a wider audience. Early testers will get a chance to send feedback per account setup, data migration from existing WhatsApp app, analytics, and automatic response. It looks like only big enterprises will be charged, while small-to-medium businesses will use the app for free.
Install a WhatsApp Business app doesn’t mean you would lose your personal WhatsApp account; of course, you can run both accounts—and separately too. The standalone app comes with landline support, register different mobile number, setup business details such as website, address, and an ‘Away Message’ to be auto-delivered to customers among other features.
To curb spamming and protect user privacy on the normal WhatsApp app, the Facebook-owned app has promised to enable blocking option for users. This will calm the nerves of everyone, and assure us all of our privacy.
In 2014 when Facebook bought over the app, Zuckerberg did say his company would consider ads once WhatsApp hits 2-3 billion people, but it seems social media giant can’t wait until it hits that figure. The company recently placed ads for some key position that gives the clearest indication yet that it’s planning to monetize the chat app.
“WhatsApp is seeking an exceptional individual to lead product development for our monetization efforts. If you are a leader who has demonstrated experience in building products, has an empathy for both consumers and businesses, has a strong bias for action, wants to understand and unlock the potential of WhatsApp to serve millions of businesses we would be excited to hear from you,” a recent advert on the company’s website announced.
Citing a source familiar with the matter, Recode reports that WhatsApp’s focus is on creating something for the emerging markets. The chat app is particularly very popular in countries like Brazil and India—and WhatsApp’s emphasis on hiring someone with international and prior experience in related field all but confirms this.
Last August, the chat app added a new FAQ section according to ever-reliable WABetaInfo. The new section unveiled WhatsApp’s new green badge for verified business accounts. This signifies that WhatsApp has started verifying a small number of businesses, and very soon, you might be able to chat with a business via yellow messages within a chat.
When a business account is registered and verified by WhatsApp, the company notifies you with a message within the app. This same thing happens when a business or brand is not registered or unregisters its account with the chat app.
When chatting with a verified business account, WhatsApp prompts you to click a link within the notification for more info about the account. This will actually help you to know or find out more details about the type of companies you are about to deal with via its platform.