WhatsApp begins testing out a system that allows businesses to message consumers directly, according to a report by Reuters. In other words, WhatsApp is getting ready to actually generate some revenue out of their millions of users.
WhatsApp, when acquired by Facebook, abandoned its an annual $0.99 membership fee, and it was then said that WhatsApp would explore letting users communicate with businesses and organizations for monetization.
According to the Reuters report, a “handful” of companies recently began testing the feature:
“The trial is still in the early stages,” said Umer Ilyas, co-founder of Cowlar Inc, one of the startups involved. “The system is highly anticipated in remote places where WhatsApp is especially popular,” he said.
“Cowlar makes collars for dairy cows, collecting data on their activity and recommending changes to improve milk yield. The company, which is testing the collars in the United States, wants to use WhatsApp to send automatic alerts from the collars directly to farmers if say, a cow is not behaving normally,” Ilyas said.
Connecting business with the customers directly is actually something that Facebook has been doing with its Messenger Platform lately.
While is many parts of the World, WhatsApp is more popular than Messenger, so it makes sense that Facebook would try a similar approach with it in search of revenue.