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WhatsApp may introduce business feature


WhatsApp may introduce business feature

Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp could begin to let companies send messages to its members, according to recent reports.

The possible move, which could help to monetise the social platform, was elaborated upon at a recent technology conference by David Wehner, who is the chief financial officer at the California-based social company.

Initially reported on by news provider Bloomberg, Wehner claimed that enabling business-to-customer messaging on WhatsApp would open up a lot of potential for the firm.

The executive added:

“As we learn those things, I think there’s going to be opportunities to bring some of those things to WhatsApp, but that’s more longer term.”

However, with Facebook’s own Messenger service already providing a number of similar features to firms involved in internet marketing, as well as operating in a fashion akin to WhatsApp, some commentators are wondering how the social app will be able to persuade companies to pay for it in a watered-down market.

Despite WhatsApp having about 800m active users each month, according to its chief executive officer, Jan Koum, in April it has so far failed to generate a profit for Facebook.

The parent company paid around $22bn (£14bn) in early 2014 for the social messaging app, although financial results in October showed that it has so far made a loss. While it did manage total revenues of $16m (£10.2m) for the first half of 2014, $232m (£148.1m) was lost by the service. However, the recently announced monetisation method may help to turn this around.

Tom Evans
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