As of July 2017, Facebook-owned WhatsApp messenger had 1.3 billion active users. The messaging platform has been doing well in terms of increasing its user base, all thanks to an array of copied features from other platforms, however, they have not been making any money since they scrapped the $1/year charge.
According to WABetaInfo, a blog that tracks WhatsApp Beta app updates, WhatsApp is working on business accounts and in-app payments. Also, the company is said to be working on a new application meant for small and medium businesses.
The business accounts will allow users to communicate directly with businesses from within the app. However, WhatsApp will not be showing ads and will users will only receive messages from businesses that they have subscribed to – users will also have the option to mute business accounts.
The new app that WhatsApp is working on, as mentioned above, will be used by businesses in order to benefit from all the business account features.
There will be verified and unverified business accounts. Verified businesses will have a verification badge next to its name (like we see on all other social media platforms, but all business accounts, whether verified or not, will have access to the same set of features such as detailed statistics on how many messages they have sent, which ones have been read and which ones are yet to be delivered.
The business profile will include a website, physical location, working hours and email address. WABetaInfo also reports that if the business has an Instagram account, that will be shown in the profile info as well.
A hidden section in the latest beta app indicates that WhatsApp payments will use a UPI payments system that allows users with bank accounts to send money directly to each other using a Virtual Payment Address (VPA) without entering additional bank information.
The only downside with this one is that to enjoy this service, you will need a bank account and your bank must support the UPI payment system.There is also no information on whether WhatsApp will allow peer-to-peer payments.
Please note that the business app, business accounts and payments are yet to be made public but reports indicate that they will be officially launched in about four months from now.
Read More: Features WhatsApp Needs to Add or Fix Soon
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