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article imageWhatsApp introduces charges for business use

By Tim Sandle     Aug 1, 2018 in Internet
The social media service WhatsApp, which is proving more popular than Facebook's messenger service, is to start charging business users who wish to communicate with their customers.
Looking for a new way to increase revenue, WhatsApp is to introduce a charging mechanism for the first time. This will allow Facebook, who own the service, to generate any revenue from WhatsApp for the first time in several years. Previously WhatsApp was a subscription service, albeit just for $1. WhatsApp Inc., based in Mountain View, California, which was acquired by Facebook in February 2014 for approximately $19.3 billion.
In return for charging companies, firms will be able to provide information and services to consumers. Examples include delivery dates or travel related documents, like boarding passes, via the platform. The cost to businesses will vary, ranging from between 0.5 cents to 9 cents per message depending on the country the user is based in, according to The Wall Street Journal. These costs exceed those of a standard SMS message.
According to the BBC, some big business names have already signed up: Uber, the online store Wish and the travel service Booking.com, are among the early subscribers.
The news comes after Facebook suffered a large drop (20 percent) in its share price, following a loss in users and a potential reduction in advertising (see: "Do Facebook shareholders want to remove Mark Zuckerberg?") This follows on from a rocky time for social media networks in terms of income generation, apart from Instagram which has seemingly buckled the trend.
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