Whatsapp is the widely used messaging application across the world. With close to a billion users and 1 million users joining per day on an average the platform can provide best reach out to costumers through it. That means connecting with one –seventh of the total world. On introducing end-to-end encryption the messenger has become safer than it was earlier. Recently the founder of the company Jan Koum stated the Whatsapp service was going completely free, removing the previous charges of 99 cent. This was removed since most of the customers from developing and poor countries do not have access to make online payments or credit cards. To increase the customer base Whatsapp announced it will be going free. Nonetheless Whatsapp was never making much money from the subscription charges; it was close to 20 million dollars which was close
Whatsapp was bought by Facebook for 19 billion dollars and during the deal Mark Zuckerburg told that the developers of the application have the complete freedom to shape the platform to increase the number of users.
As the acquisition happened in two years back, the company is now trying to invite businessinto its platform and is constructing ways to charge them.
The company will bring in tools which will let business and organizations to interact with customers and general public.
For example, an account holder in a bank can communicate with the bank through Whatsapp wether a transaction has happened or with airlines regarding delay of flights.
These activities can be carried out through various other means such as messages and phone call. But Whatsapp is trying to do it within the app without the need for additional third-party ads.
The company sources have said that business have been requesting Whatsapp owners for quite some time to make the app for organizations friendly. However they have chose to ignore it all this while and are now planning to execute it.
Although we have business which operate through Whatsapp like restaurants in Hong Kong which use the app for table reservations, and public can text BBC through Whatsapp regarding a tip for news.
But these interactions or not designed for business flow they are general interaction that any two persons can have. Businesses can benefit from features like sending messages to large groups of people, analytics, automated messages and bots, which are becoming popular on other messenger platforms like Telegram, wechat and facebook messenger.
Wechat began the process of getting business involved in the world is messaging. It started inviting organizations on to its platform since 2013.
They have options for payments, advertisement and automated bots which reply to users query. Wechat has got 10 million official accounts, which includes McDonalds, Asian Health Care and even the Chinese communist party. 80 percent of the wechat users follow at least one of the official brands listed in it.
Facebook has also announced the integration of business into the messenger application during 2015. Retailer Zulily and Everlane are the first users of the business friendly FB messenger. Now Uber displays its driver’s location over the messenger app. But many users are yet to use its facilities and it is not official that how Facebook is planning to make money out of it.
Facebook has also designed to launch toolkit for developers that will let them build bots. Bots are already a rage in most of the messenger applications.
All of the revenue models of facebook will be more or less made available on Whatsapp.
Whatsapp and Facebook integration
- The updated version has brought in a feature to integrate the accounts on both of these platforms. But it is up to the user to whether provide details of their Whatsapp account on to facebook.
- This move according to the social media giant is to provide its users a better experience. It can show you the feeds of people who you text regularly on Whatsapp. However in the revenue model it is gathering of more user data and providing advertisements accordingly.
- For facebook the money gainer is the huge amount of data and users it can trade to gain advertisers.
- Many privacy activists have been against the move to integrate both the applications. Users have the option to opt out of this integration from the settings menu and the option will never be displayed.
Whatsapp in healthcare
With huge protection available to the texts transferred between the users, now doctors can even send prescriptions without the fear of data theft.
This could improve the reach and speed of medical help to patients. In US only 4 percent of the doctors use the application for prescribing in fear of violation of medical norms. In countries were the law is not very stringent the interaction rate is higher, in Brazil around 90 percent of the doctors use Whatsapp.
How does the platform help in health care?
Safe means of communication! With the end-to-end encryption technology there is a lot of safety to the interactions.
- The zika virus outbreak news was largely spread through Whatsapp and even the CT scans of babies were sent out to keep people informed. Updates were given regarding the new symptoms that were discovered by doctors.
- Saves time
- Instead of travelling all the way to doctor’s place, the patients can get simple prescriptions through the app.
- The developers have declared it free for life and thus an easier availability to all.
- However there are still apprehensions whether the messages will be transferred safely or they will be hacked.
- With facebook integration there is a lot of fear whether our medical history will be in safe hands.
- Facebook was under several criticisms in Europe and also by privacy activist over its data sharing with NSA.
- This came into limelight with whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations.
- This even led to the pull down of safe harbor between Europe and US in the European Union court.
- With so much of insecurities regarding data privacy facebook has to struggle a little bit to let users integrate the application with it.
Future of Whatsapp
After the acquisition of facebook the app has got several updates. There is an option to share documents now and encryption of messages is available.
In the near future the developers are going to roll out video calling thus making it an app with varied features. It is time the company starts making money through it. Facebook is one of the cleverest website in terms of making money. So no doubt the parent company will make sure it brings in all its money making tactics to Whatsapp too.
However we can expect that Whatsapp will stay ad free sine its developers even in the initial stages advertised. But a more complicated method will be introduces t make money through the huge user base it has got.