The Way In Which Apps Like WhatsApp, WeChat Could Make Money Even while Offering Free Texting And Ca
  • bekashev_abekashev_a February 2018
    Ever thought just how a messaging app can make money whilst providing free texting and calling? WhatsApp users within India might be surprised to find out that there is much more to messaging apps than communicating. Here's how: by offering services like digital payments, online shopping as well as content.
    China's WeChat is probably the perfect example of the huge possibilities that messaging apps hold. With well over 900 million monthly active users, WeChat enables them do almost everything from messaging, purchasing grocery, hailing cabs, purchasing online food and also offline payments at restaurants - all of this without having to go to another app. These kinds of services not merely offer the company outstanding customer stickiness, they also create a remarkable revenue model.


    At this point, WeChat's rivals outside China such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Viber and Line are behind the curve on this front, although some have started on the road to becoming greater platforms. "The actual reason chat apps are growing beyond communications is to develop a lasting monetisation strategy," said Neha Dharia, a senior analyst with a focus on messaging at London-based research firm Ovum. "Chat apps are shifting away from being merely a provider of communication tools chat, voice and video) to becoming a platform for the exchange of services, payment mechanisms and content consumption."
    WhatsApp, the largest messaging app in the world with 1.3 billion every month active users, introduced a business version in India early this week. "Based on research, we know that people WhatsApp to speak to businesses.
    Make business messaging more convenient for folks and more effective for businesses," a WhatsApp spokesman said in response to ET's questions. Whatsapp Business is a separate app from Whatsapp Messenger, aimed mainly at giving a direct communicating platform to small enterprises, the majority of who might be using WhatsApp already.

    Even while Whatsapp has maintained the service free, it might broaden it to larger businesses with added features for example analytics, by which it could demand a usage fee at a later stage, as a result developing a revenue model, segment watchers said. This also is targeted at increasing subscriber connect that it can make use of for future monetization of their other services. The larger agenda - and a more crucial one - for these firms is to get active users to take more time on the app or services and also make it viable for profit generation, based on experts.
    "Every single technology company is vying for consumer stickiness, interaction and also time invested on the app, and in order to keep them in the app's ecosystem they are widening themselves to turn into platforms. Just being messaging App Alternatives offering cost-free services is not going to be a good revenuegeneration model," said Jayanth Kolla, founder of Bengaluru-based research firm Convergence Catalyst.

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