Businesses could very well soon be able to chat directly with customers in WhatsApp.
According to Reuters, the Facebook-owned messaging app is reportedly testing out a version of its platform designed for businesses.
Not only would it allow businesses to communicate with its customers and vice-versa, but this premium chat feature could be a revenue source for the company.
WhatsApp is currently free to download, with users able to send unlimited texts and calls for free. The platform previously charged $0.99 as annual membership fee, but got rid of this after Facebook bought the company for roughly $19 billion.
Instead, with Facebook in charge, the plan was to make money by offering chat services to businesses. Businesses interested would then have to pay to be able to talk to their customers on the messaging platform.
Now it seems like the time has come for the company to start introducing WhatsApp for Business to help fatten up its wallet.
However, WhatsApp is believed to only be early stages of trying out chats for businesses, which is said to be tested among Y Combinator startups.
WhatsApp previously reached a deal with Y Combinator, a startup incubator that provides seed funding, last month in order to start the trial for its upcoming feature.
For businesses, being able to chat in WhatsApp will be especially useful in remote areas.
The company could launch WhatsApp for Business first in India, it’s largest market with 200 million monthly active users.
“We build every WhatsApp feature to be simple, reliable, and secure, and this vision is in line with what Digital India promises to achieve. We will continue to invest so we can help more people across India, and we hope to contribute more to India’s vision for digital commerce in the future,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told Mashable.
It was not confirmed whether or not testing had begun in India or not.
If introduced, WhatsApp for Business would be the company’s first crack at trying to make a buck among users in years.
Photo: Marco Verch | Flickr
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