After reporting sluggish earnings growth last week, Facebook has made a decision to monetize WhatsApp by display ads of businesses that link out to the messaging service, The Verge is reporting.More news: Woman killed by suspected Tinder killer says ‘he was a cool guy’
The messages will be charged at a fixed rate for confirmed delivery, ranging from 0.5 cents to 9 cents per message depending on the country, WhatsApp said.
WhatsApp, which has around 1.5 billion users, said starting Wednesday businesses can use its WhatsApp Business API to send notifications such as shipping confirmations, appointment reminders and event tickets. Tardy responses by businesses will incur costs.More news: Tesla Reports Record $717.5 Million Net Loss in Second Quarter
Facebook said that companies that run these particular Facebook/WhatsApp ads will also be able to measure certain stats like how "the total number of messages that people sent to your business attributed to the ads you ran on Facebook", the company said in a corporate blog post. The monetization plans are similar to what Facebook has done with Instagram's Stories feature, in that the ads displayed on WhatsApp's status feature "will be powered by Facebook's advertising system", the Journal noted.
Facebook has always been testing ways to make money from WhatsApp, which it bought in early 2014 in a deal valued at US$19 billion. The group calling feature, which was launched recently for all WhatsApp users on Android and iOS platforms, was rolled out on WhatsApp Beta in June. At the same time, WhatsApp is rolling out three new tools for customers to connect quickly with businesses. Even late messages sent by businesses through this app will remain free.More news: Treasury Department Sanctions Turkish Officials over Detention of U.S. Pastor
Facebook shares plummeted last week on disappointing results. Profits will also likely be hit by costly investments to address the problems.