WhatsApp to introduce in-chat purchases and start charging for Business services

Tyrone Stewart

WhatsApp is making updates to its Business app and Business API, including changes to commerce features, opening up hosting options and, for the first time, charging businesses to use some of its services.

Users will soon have more ways to see the products that businesses have available and be able to make purchases from directly within a chat. At the same time, the Facebook-owned app will start making it easier for businesses to integrate the in-chat payment into their existing commerce and customer solutions.

Over the next few months, WhatsApp will also expand its partnerships with business solution providers and provide businesses with the option to manage their WhatsApp messages via the hosting services that Facebook plans to offer.

In order to make this all a reality and continue providing a free service to its more than 2bn users, WhatsApp says it will have start charging its business customers for ‘some’ of the services it offers, though no information has been provided on which services or how much Facebook plans to charge businesses.

“Though there is much more we need to build. For the last two years, we’ve provided the WhatsApp Business app and WhatsApp Business API to help businesses of all sizes manage their chats. We’ve listened to feedback on what’s worked and believe WhatsApp can help make messaging the best way for consumers and businesses to connect,” said WhatsApp in a blog post.

In non-business-related WhatsApp news, the app now also gives users the option to mute their chats forever, meaning users can choose to never receive notifications when messages are received in specific chats. The mute options on the app are now eight hours, one weeks, and always.