Yesterday, Facebook announced that its WhatsApp messenger would start to provide in-app purchases and cloud hosting services, as it intends to increase revenue from the app while connecting together e-commerce infrastructure across the platform.
WhatsApp to Render In-app Purchases and Cloud Hosting Services
With this new development, WhatsApp will allow businesses to sell products inside WhatsApp via FB Shops, an online store initiated in May to render a unified shopping experience across all Facebook’s applications. Facebook Inc has been attempting to boost sales from higher-growth units like Instagram and WhatsApp, which it bought in 2014 for $19 billion but has been reluctant to monetize.
In addition to that, Facebook will also enter the cloud computing sector, providing firms who use its customer service messaging tools the capability to store those messages on Facebook servers.
In an interview, Matt Idema, WhatsApp’s chief operating officer said that the shopping tool would begin to roll out this year, while cloud message hosting would become available in the next year. Idema said WhatsApp would provide the cloud hosting service for free to try to attract new paying customers to its enterprise tools, which impose 0.5 cents to 9 cents per message delivered.
According to Idema, in total, more than 175 million people interact with a business every day on WhatsApp. Furthermore. he added.
The revenue is small today, by comparison to Facebook at large, but we think the opportunity is pretty big.
Idema also told that chats with a business using the new cloud hosting service will reveal that those conversations are saved elsewhere and not being protected by the WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption.