The most popular messenger in Russia, WhatsApp, is starting to charge money for sending messages. Regular users will not be hurt – this is the WhatsApp Business app for companies.
For almost a year since launching the app for business customers, the company has been researching the needs of their customers. In September 2017, WhatsApp developers announced that they are working on new features to facilitate communication between companies and their customers.
According to analytics from the messenger, companies have needs such as having an officially verified WhatsApp account so that people can distinguish the company from the user, or simply the need for an easier way to respond to customer messages.
With the updated free WhatsApp Business app, customers will be able to contact companies in several ways:
First, the client can provide the company with his number so that it can send him the necessary information using WhatsApp.
The second is the ability to quickly contact the company through the direct link icon, which can always be found on the website or in the company’s advertisement.
The third is contacting the support service of the companies, which will provide real-time assistance in the WhatsApp chat.
The official WhatsApp blog also says that the services of sending some messages will be paid for companies, and always free for ordinary users of the messenger. Thus, the developers are trying to force companies to be selective in what and how many messages to send, and to protect users from unnecessary information in the form of spam.
According to sources close to the management of the messenger, the cost of the message will vary from 0.5 to 9 cents depending on the country.
The blog also notes that like all messages on WhatsApp, communications between companies and their customers will be end-to-end encrypted.
WhatsApp Business was created for different companies, be it a large corporation with customers around the world, for example, airlines that can use the new messenger services to send useful information to their customers, such as departure times or flight changes, or a small business that has tasks for the delivery of goods, the managers of which will be able to notify about the delivery.