WhatsApp to test new features

Posted on January 21, 2016

 

Messaging service WhatsApp has recently announced that it is making some changes to its service that could revolutionise the way in which its user base interacts with it.

The app allows its users to send a variety of messages to either single or group recipients, whether that is a text or video image, audio clip or photograph. The service has also integrated a telephone calling service for its 900 million strong user base.

WhatsApp has announced that one of the first things it intends to do in 2016 is make subscription to the app completely free of charge. At present, there is a yearly fee for using the app that stands at a hardly bank-breaking 69p, which is only charged after one year’s free service.

This will come as a pleasant surprise to the large number of users who still complain about having to pay for the service, with many uninstalling and reinstalling the app each year as a way around having to pay the fee, although opinions are mixed on whether or not this even works.

The company has also suggested that it is testing a new tool that would allow its users to get in touch directly with businesses and organisations from which they would like to hear. The examples the enterprise gave in its blog post announcement was the WhatsApp user’s bank, which could get in touch about a potential fraudulent transaction, and an airline company about whether a particular flight is delayed or not.

This part of the announcement will be of particular interest to businesses worldwide who are seeking for new ways to get in touch with their clientele.

WhatsApp was purchased by social networking phenomenon Facebook back in 2014 for a staggering $19bn (£11bn). Since then, the app has not changed too dramatically, but it has been using data from the service’s databases to generate revenue.

Many users will be concerned that this set of moves will mean that the company will start using in-app advertising, which has already been introduced to other Facebook-owned apps including Instagram.

Whether or not these features get tested, the prospect of potentially being able to get in touch with a business from the app would be one to relish for companies who make use of multichannel platforms, ranging from social media to online chat systems. Being accessible to customers across various platforms is becoming crucial as the world of business moves more towards mobile, so ensuring that your website and company are mobile friendly is essential.

Alan Littler

Account Executive at Engage Web
Drawing from a broad pool of experience that ranges from university studies in English Language to his work as a medical receptionist in a busy GP practice, Alan fits right at home as Engage Web’s Account Executive.

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