Facebook bought WhatsApp at $19 billion, and it is about time they start getting some revenue directly from the messaging app that now has a market share of over a billion people globally.
In the news communicated to Reuters, it appears WhatsApp is currently working with a handful of companies who are part of the Y Combinator startup incubator in a prototype project. The project is geared toward finding ways WhatsApp can effectively monetize its messaging app.
One way the app could generate revenue is by installing a new feature that will enable businesses to communicate with customers via WhatsApp. However, the company has to be very careful to open new ways for spammers to start spamming users.
WhatsApp is also keeping an eye on how users currently engage with businesses over the app, and whether they do get spammed; with what frequency and how can it be stopped.
In 2016, WhatsApp announced plans of developing a new system, dubbed Application Programming Interface (API). This feature will enable users to talk to their banks enquiring about suspicious activities in their accounts, or a traveler talking to an airline about a delayed flight.
The messaging apps entered into a deal with Y Combinator, an accelerator that provides training and advice to startups, to have companies under the acceleration program take part in this test pilot project. The companies will use the beta WhatsApp features and help the messaging app tweak them in preparation for launch to the public.