WhatsApp set to start charging businesses

Matthew Cook
August 2, 2018

Slow replies will be charged a fixed rate when using WhatsApp Business API

This week WhatsApp launched the ‘WhatsApp Business API’ app which allows large businesses to manage and send non-promotional messages to customers, also allowing businesses to respond to messages for free up to 24 hours with a fixed rate charge there after.

Businesses will still only be able to send messages to those who have contacted them first but will be able program messages concerning shipping confirmations, appointment reminders and ticket information.

Since the acquisition by Facebook for $19 billion (£14.5 billion) back in 2014 WhatsApp have reversed its 100 per cent free usage policy concerning business, utilising its 1.5 billion user base to create extra revenue.

Since the charges only come into effect after 24 hours due to late replies WhatsApp have asserted that this does not fly in the face of the company ethos.

Currently the WhatsApp For Business App has over three million users and when launched was entirely free messaging service, but will now charge by country after 24 hours if the message has not been replied to via a fixed charge.

WhatsApp also reiterates that the messages will also still remain to be highly end-to-end encrypted. Yet this is in direct contradiction to The Washington Post’s report stating that Facebook may have to weaken the encryption level for WhatsApp For Business messages.  

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