Facebook to Monetize WhatsApp for Business Users

It looks like Facebook will soon start monetizing its WhatsApp messaging platform, leveraging its relationships with businesses to help them stay in contact with customers.

According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, the massively-popular messaging service is planning to eventually start invoicing companies for recently introduced features that help bridge the gap between businesses and consumers.

“We want to put a basic foundation in place to allow people to message businesses and for them to get the responses that they want,” WhatsApp COO Matt Idema said. “We do intend on charging businesses in the future.”

Unlike Facebook’s Messenger platform, which relies heavily on revenue from advertising, the company’s WhatsApp platform monetization model will include streamlined communication features, allowing businesses to handle customer inquiries and send out updates to followers.

Additionally, in order for users to effectively tell apart businesses and individuals, the company is also planning on utilizing dedicated and official verification badges within WhatsApp.

Reuters had reported in March that a potential revenue source for WhatsApp was to charge businesses that want to contact customers, citing company documents.

Idema declined to describe the paid features or say when they would make their debut, according to the report. “We don’t have the details of monetization figured out,” he told the Wall Street Journal.

More details about the paid features will follow in an upcoming blog post, slated to arrive next Tuesday.