New Delhi: WhatsApp will now start charging businesses for sending marketing and customer service messages in a bid to boost the company's sagging revenue growth. The prices, however, will vary from country to country.
“Businesses will pay to send certain messages so they are selective and your chats don't get cluttered. In addition, messages will remain end-to-end encrypted and you can block any business with the tap of a button,” WhatsApp wrote in its blog.
The company has, however, acknowledged that it is charging a premium compared to SMS rates.
A Reuters report said that WhatsApp will charge the messages at a fixed rate for confirmed delivery, ranging from 0.5 cents to 9 cents per message depending on the country. Wireless carriers typically charge businesses well below a penny per SMS, and the price is still close to a penny when including fees collected by intermediaries between carriers and businesses.
WhatsApp also highlighted how people can connect with a business in its blog.
Request helpful information: When you need a shipping confirmation or boarding pass, you can give your mobile number to a business on their website, on their app, or in their store to send you information on WhatsApp.
Start a conversation: You may see a click-to-chat button on a website or Facebook ad to quickly message a business.
Get support: Some businesses may provide real-time support on WhatsApp to answer questions about their products or help you resolve an issue.
Earlier this year, WhatsApp rolled out "WhatsApp Business" in India to help businesses communicate better with their customers.
WhatsApp Business has an active user base of over 3 million people globally. It is a standalone app separate from the other version of instant messaging platform WhatsApp being used by over 1.5 billion people.