WhatsApp, a popular messaging service now owned by Facebook, is planning to start platform for businesses to interact with users through live chats and alerts.
“We think that enabling that B2C (business-to-consumer) messaging has good business potential for us,” Facebook Chief Financial Officer David Wehner said on Monday at a tech conference in Boston. “As we learn those things, I think there’s going to be opportunities to bring some of those things to WhatsApp, but that’s more longer term.”
The plan, however, does not seem to take off soon. Founders of WhatsApp founders were hesitant about putting adverts right from the beginning. This is one of the reasons it is the most preferred messaging app across the world.
Earlier this year, Facebook released its Messenger service for developers in order to create apps and for shoppers to have direct communication with retailers.
Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $21.8 billion last year and is roughly used by 800 people. WhatsApp has grown quickly since 2009, mainly in Europe and parts of Asia.
But profit remains vague for WhatsApp. In October, Facebook revealed that WhatsApp made nearly $16 million in revenues during the first half of 2014 but lost $232 million during the same time frame because of stock-related expenses.
The situation was similar in 2013, when the company generated $10.2 million in revenues for the year but lost $138 million again from stock-related expenses.
Because of this, Facebook might be mulling over B2C concept for WhatsApp where it charges businesses for access to users. Combined with WhatsApp’s global reach and Facebook’s business with the likes of Everlane and Zulily, B2C might turn out to be a good venture for the company.