Facebook is now serious on finding ways to make money off WhatsApp through in-app purchases and the cloud.
Facebook has revealed to day in a blogpost that they will offer those services as it moves to boost revenue from it. The social network was bought by Facebook 6 years ago for $19 billion and seems like it is time they recouped their investments.
The company says they will expand ways for people to check out available products and make purchases right from a chat. That sounds like a classic in-app purchase and they want to make it easier for businesses to integrate these features.
The other interesting news is Facebook Hosting services. They will provide a new option for businesses to manage their WhatsApp messages via hosting services. The company wants to make it easier for SME’s to sell products, keep their inventory up to date and quickly respond to messages.
According to Reuters, WhatsApp’s chief operating officer, Matt Idema said in an interview that the shopping tool will start rolling out this year and the message hosting will become available in 2021. Idema said that WhatsApp will offer the hosting for free to draw new paying customers, which charge 0.5 cents to 9 cents per message delivered.
WhatsApp also says they will charge business customers for some of the services they offer which will help WhatsApp continue building their business of connecting more than 2 billion people.
Currently, WhatsApp revealed that more than 175 million people message a WhatsApp Business account. They also say that their research showed that people prefer to message a business to get help and are more likely to make a purchase when they can do so. Clearly, Facebook sees a lot of growth opportunity for WhatsApp in this area and that is why they are expanding by announcing these tools.