WhatsApp messenger service will start charging its businesses for sending marketing and customer service messages. The social network company’s flagship brand faces slowing usage and revenue growth.
“The messages will be charged at a fixed rate for confirmed delivery, ranging from 0.5 cents to 9 cents per message depending on the country,” WhatsApp said.
Facebook has been looking at ways to monetize its WhatsApp service in the face of rising costs as it has spent huge amount to improve privacy safeguards and tackle concerns about social media addiction.
WhatsApp which has around 1.5 billion users; stated that businesses can use its WhatsApp Business API to send notifications such as shipping confirmations, appointment reminders and event tickets.
WhatsApp notified that it is charging a premium compared to SMS rates. Wireless carriers typically charge businesses well below a penny per SMS, and the price is still close to a penny when including fees collected by intermediaries between carriers and businesses.
WhatsApp announced in January that it would start allowing small business accounts to communicate through the WhatsApp Business application having over 3 million active users. COO Matt Idema said at the time that the WhatsApp intends to charge businesses in the future.