WhatsApp announced plans to begin allowing business accounts hoping to make more profit for their corporate parent, Facebook. With 1.3 billion users, some firms already use the messaging application to answer inquires from customers. These accounts will allow them to set up automatic greetings, see statistics about their messaging, as well as set up a profile page to include information such as hours of operation. Such businesses with accounts can use this tool to help keep up with massive high volume messages through WhatsApp more efficiently.
Back in 2014, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion. Since then, WhatsApp charged a $1 annual subscription fee until 2016, dropping the fee and leaving the messaging service without a source of revenue. The company competes with other messaging services that include Facebook’s Messenger application, WeChat, Tencent Holding Ltd., and other rivals.
The business accounts would be available through a WhatsApp Business application in the Google Play store in the U.S., Italy, Mexico, Britain, and Indonesia. WhatsApp plans to also offer the accounts globally in other countries in the coming weeks and will eventually have a version for Apple iPhones.