WhatsApp to Offer In-App Purchases, Enter Cloud Hosting Services, allow users to mute chats forever
Facebook has announced that it’s WhatsApp messaging app will soon start offering in-app purchases and hosting services. It has announced that it plans to offer in-app purchases as it wants to boost revenue from the app while binding together e-commerce infrastructure across the company’s social media platforms.
The world’s biggest social media company has been putting in efforts to boost sales from higher-growth units such as Instagram and WhatsApp, which it purchased in 2014 for USD 19 billion but has been slow to monetize.
With the new changes on its platform, WhatsApp will permit businesses sell products inside WhatsApp through Facebook Shops, an online store launched in May. The service was launched to offer a unified shopping experience across Facebook’s apps.
The company also plans to enter the cloud computing sector, offering firms using its customer service messaging tools, the ability to store those messages on Facebook servers.
WhatsApp’s CEO (chief operating officer), Matt Idema said, “Though the shopping tool would start rolling out this year, the message hosting would become available only by 2021.”
Idema said that WhatsApp would offer the hosting service for free to try to draw new paying customers to its enterprise tools that charge 0.5 cents to 9 cents per message delivered.
The app has a small customer base of tens of thousands of businesses, whereas tens of millions use its limited free tools aimed at small businesses.
Idema said chats with a business using the new hosting service will show that those chats are stored elsewhere and not protected by end-to-end encryption of the app.
Idema also said that in total, more than 175 million people interact with a business each day on WhatsApp.
He added, “The revenue generated today is small, in comparison to Facebook, but we think the opportunity is huge.”
He also added, “Facebook would not use message data hosted on its servers for other business purposes.”
The messaging app, WhatsApp said in a tweet that its users can mute chats forever, and removed the one-year muting option from its list. Users can mute a conversation for 8 hours, a week, or always.