Facebook announced that it could enable businesses to contact users through WhatsApp, apparently giving insight on how the company is planning to earn revenue through the messaging service it acquired last year, says a report from Bloomberg. Facebook purchased WhatsApp for $22 billion but until now has not disclosed plans on how it is going to earn revenue from it.
WhatsApp approaching 1 billion mark
The social networking company could launch on WhatsApp some of the functions that are being tested by Facebook Messenger, such as business-to-consumer interactions, that marketers could pay for.
On Monday, at a JP Morgan Technology conference in Boston, David Wehner, Facebook’s chief financial officer said, “We think that enabling that B2C messaging has good business potential for us.” Wehner added that as the company experiments with some of the features, there is a possibility of introducing those features on WhatsApp in the longer term.
“I think there’s going to be opportunities to bring some of those things to WhatsApp, but that’s more longer-term than the near-term,” Wehner said.
WhatsApp has a user base of 800 million and is advancing toward the 1 billion mark, the number that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said will transform WhatsApp into a meaningful business.
Facebook working to interlink Messenger, WhatsApp
WhatsApp is the most preferred service for those who avoid traditional texting to reduce international cellular data charges. On the other hand, Facebook Messenger is more of a multi-user chat product, and recently the social network launched some e-commerce services and game functions. However, WhatsApp founders have expressed their concerns previously over the idea of adding ads and games on the platform.
According to an earlier report, Facebook added a “send” button to the familiar WhatsApp icon, enhancing its status action button, which is positioned under each status update. The company placed the new button on the right side in the most recent version of the Facebook for Android app.
As of now, only select Facebook users are able to see the new feature. If the report is true, the Menlo Park-based company has taken the first move toward interlinking the two platforms in order to maintain a level of growth and take control of the messaging market together. Additionally, employees at Facebook are already reportedly working to make the feature even better by integrating the ability to send messages between Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.