WhatsApp is developing a feature that would allow large brands and businesses to contact users of the popular instant messaging (IM) app, sources told Ubergizmo. The Facebook-owned company is said to be developing several tools that would allow this functionality, but the report contains no specific details on the matter. WhatsApp has allegedly been working on an enterprise variant of its app that businesses would pay to access so it's possible that the ability to contact consumers would be a part of that offering. Regardless of the way in which the company will implement the feature, it's understood that WhatsApp is planning to monetize it using a relatively traditional business model as the IM service is planning to charge businesses to contact customers through their app. Seeing how such a feature has the potential to annoy users and make them leave the service, the Facebook-owned company is also said to be developing a system that would prevent brands from abusing the functionality and spamming users.
Brands have been able to contact customers directly using popular social media networks like Facebook and Twitter for some time now, but if WhatsApp is now truly developing a similar feature, such a move may signal that the IM service is now finally looking to do a more efficient job at monetizing its offerings. Its sister service Messenger already offers businesses a number of options to promote their brands and products to customers as it allows them access to everything from communications channels to chatbot ads. In that regard, the tools that WhatsApp is now allegedly developing for businesses may be one of Facebook's attempts to standardize its portfolio and offer brands a similar set of options for contacting customers through all of their services.
It remains to be seen whether the Facebook-owned company is truly developing the feature outlined above, but if it is, more information on the matter will likely follow later this year. In related news, WhatsApp recently started modernizing its offerings as the company stopped supporting older versions of the Android operating system and introduced a number of new features to its IM app.