WhatsApp has struggled to monetize its service ever since it was launched. The initial $1/year fee didn’t work out well, with the company ditching the option altogether. Now that Facebook owns WhatsApp, there could be some crucial changes coming to the instant messaging platform. According to a dedicated page on WhatsApp’s website, the company is launching a pilot program, allowing businesses to interact with customers.
The company’s post says that if you have a particular business’ number saved on your phone, it will appear under the same name. If you don’t, you will see the name assigned by the business. This could pave the way to book tickets, make table reservations and lot more by just sending a couple of messages on WhatsApp.
Businesses that have been verified by WhatsApp will have green badges next to their name. The conversation between the user and the business will be shown in yellow chat clouds. These messages cannot be deleted. If you feel the business is sending you too many messages or simply spamming you, there is an option to block them.
Facebook was expected to bridge the gap between the consumers and businesses with WhatsApp, but this is the first time we have clear evidence of what the company wants to do. As of now, only a handful of businesses appear to be online, but we expect more companies to follow over the coming months.
Will this feature make it more likely for you to interact with businesses?