“When you don’t have to pay anything, the product is you”, or at least so it is said by internet forums. But today we will not be talking about any platform or app of dubious origin, in this article we will be talking about whatsapp and answering the following question How does whatsapp earn money?
Whatsapp is the second most used social network, present in more than 180 countries and with more than 2 billion users. At first glance, this app doesn’t seem to make a lot of profit from the service it offers, some may be curious, and that’s understandable. That is why today I want to work on clearing up that doubt, if you are interested in knowing how WhatsApp makes money, keep reading.
It was founded in 2009 and bought in 2014 by Facebook for a figure of around 19 billion dollars. At the time of purchase, Mark Zuckerberg promised to maintain two points of the platform’s policy: they would not include ads and user data would not be used. One of the promises was kept, even today, WhatsApp is free of advertising; the other point, however, was totally abandoned.
Shortly after the purchase, the option of charging an annual subscription of one dollar was considered, although soon the idea was scrapped. in 2016 the platform paid a fine of 300 thousand dollars for having shared the data of its users with Facebook (currently called Meta). This is how the new WhatsApp business model had started, which continues to this day.
How does Whatsapp currently make money?
Before everything, Whatsapp’s parent company is Meta (formerly Facebook), then any way this has to serve its parent, is a win. This leads us to examine Meta.
How does Meta make money? With advertising, both Instagram like Facebook have integrated ads. But Meta’s business does not end there, in 2018 and 2019 NBC and The New York Times respectively, published totally independent news one from the other, in which they exposed Meta (back then Facebook) for selling or exchanging data of its users to more than 150 companies.
Having said that, we can start to understand the real business value of the most famous green application.
How can the chat app be useful to your parent? Sharing user data with you What data does the messaging platform obtain from its users? Consumption habits, locations, telephone numbers, time, hours of use, etc… That is the true current business value of whatsapp.
And so, we can now answer the first question, Whatsapp makes money selling user data. The company Meta makes money selling your data. Despite this, they maintain the same discourse from 2014 that they are committed to privacy.
But that is not all, the company still does not generate everything that it could generate, that is why they are working on new innovations that we should see implemented throughout the world in the coming years.
How will WhatsApp make money in the future?
According to the statements of Matt Idema, WhatsApp’s director of operations:
“Facebook and Instagram are the shop windows and Whatsapp is the cash register”
WhatsApp currently works with several features that allow you to currently generate profits, but as they improve, it will allow you to generate much more. The company (WhatsApp) earn profits by serving private companies (small or large), commissions for financial transactions on Whatsapp Businessamong others, that are being implemented in countries like India.
Through Whatsapp Business, a service launched in 2017, a company regardless of its size, can turn Whatsapp into your Customer Service center. From here it becomes easy to use it for promote your product catalog, make purchases, etc. Whatsapp Business is partly free, many of its services are not.
Something that is being adopted more and more is include a direct button to Whatsapp in business pages on Facebook. This thanks to the programming interface developed by Meta, which allows large companies to integrate the messaging application into their customer service channels.
According to experts, WhatsApp will be going through a process of major changes in the coming years, and this whole process has incredible potential. All this in the midst of continuous complaints against the indiscriminate use of personal data.
In less than five years we could see WhatsApp turned into a massive Customer Service Center. In addition to talking to your loved ones, you can book a hotel room, order lunch or order a taxi. Something similar to what happened in China with WeChat, a simple messaging app that became a multi-purpose platform; with buying and selling functionalities, allowing you to pay credit cards and being usable as an alternative to Tinder.
The country that fits as the next test site for transaction services through WhatsApp is Brazil.
We hope this article has been enlightening, if you think I missed any important information please let me know in the comments.