WhatsApp opens doors to businesses, drops subscription fees

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WhatsApp has been growing steadily for the last couple of years. Today, WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum announced that they’re about to hit one billion active users. But that’s not the only big announcement that he had.

Apparently the popular messaging app was sitting at right around 990 million active users when he made the announcement, but the app is steadily growing, adding around 1 million new users every day. Soon, we’re going to start seeing a whole new class of users added to the service. Specifically, businesses.

Sure, some businesses already take advantage of the popular messaging client. However, the business accounts that currently exist are no different from those of the everyday user. No analytics, no ability to mass-message customers, no bots, and none of the other tools that businesses use on other mediums to connect with their client base. The company is about to change that later this year. Check out the full quote from Koum on the topic:

Starting this year, we will test tools that allow you to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organizations that you want to hear from. That could mean communicating with your bank about whether a recent transaction was fraudulent, or with an airline about a delayed flight. We all get these messages elsewhere today – through text messages and phone calls – so we want to test new tools to make this easier to do on WhatsApp, while still giving you an experience without third-party ads and spam.

The final announcement today, was that the company was dropping all subscription charges for users. Only users in some areas had to pay the subscription after a year, so this may not be big news to everyone. Apparently the company didn’t make all that much money off of it, and since Facebook now owns it, they don’t really need the extra cash for operational costs.

(slashgear.com)

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