Run Aspects of Your Business on WhatsApp
WhatsApp announced the launch of the Business API, which allows large businesses to manage and send non-promotional messages to customers — like appointment reminders, shipping info, or event tickets — for a fixed rate.
WhatsApp has a global market reach of 1.5 billion users and the Business API now enables brands to access and engage their customers like never before, making WhatsApp potentially the world’s most powerful business messaging channel.
Some messages, like flight updates or purchase receipts, will likely be sent automatically, a company spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email. WhatsApp’s Business API is initially being made available to just 90 companies, including Uber, Booking.com, and KLM Airlines, and will gradually be offered to a larger group of customers.
Messages may only be sent to customers who have shared their phone number with a business or who have initiated a conversation with a business. Businesses using the API will be able to respond to messages within 24 hours for free. All messages sent after that will come with a charged fee.
Also announced today: Advertisers will soon be able to use the Facebook Ads Manager to add a click-to-chat button to Facebook advertisements.
Experiments that allow Facebook users to add a button to a post that invites people to chat on WhatsApp first began with boosted posts last December. This follows the introduction of Click-to-Messenger ads, News Feed ads that lead to Facebook Messenger conversations with automated bots or humans.
The monetization performance of WhatsApp and the wider family of Facebook apps is being closely watched, following a historic earnings announcement last week. Reported revenue of $13.2 billion fell just below analyst expectations, but news of the loss of 3 million daily active users in Europe last week combined with additional concerns around misuse of data resulted in a $120 billion loss in company value last week, the biggest in U.S. stock market history.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg have persistently talked about plans to monetize the company’s messaging apps, but often referred to those initiatives as long-term plans.
Click-to-WhatsApp ads will be available in most countries around the world later this month, a company spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email, but will not be made available in India or the European Union.
What could you do with this? Here are just a few ideas:
Artificial Intelligence Bots
Customer Surveys and Engagements
Individual & Group Communications
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