Most social networks are free to use but they cost money to run them. This means eventually, you will get to see them implementing several ways of making money after they acquire a sizeable audience.
WhatsApp has 1.2 billion users which is massive and only Facebook is bigger than it in terms of active user base. Facebook bought it for $19 billion and now is the time we are seeing reports of how they would recoup their investment.
According to Reuters, WhatsApp is testing a system that would let businesses talk directly to WhatsApp users. Apparently, this is being done with a few companies that are part of Y Combinator startup incubator. It was also noted in the documents that the company is working carefully to avoid a case of spam messages, which is something that can make people hate using WhatsApp.
Umer Ilyas, co-founder of one of the startups involved in the test gave a statement about it, “The trial is still in the early stages,” he said, “The system is highly anticipated in remote areas where WhatsApp is especially popular.”
This test seems oddly familiar to what a Kenyan company, Ongair has been doing and it shows the company is now plotting to rival its own sibling, Messenger in offering businesses a way to connect with their customers. This test also comes after WhatsApp rolled out WhatsApp Status Stories which lets people share ephemeral posts of their day and if you look closely, WhatsApp has a verified channel of sorts so maybe that’s how businesses will interact with WhatsApp users.