WhatsApp has ‘commercial messaging’ plans for India Inc


Popular messaging application WhatsApp will invest to help more Indians connect to its platform as part of its efforts to contribute to the rising digital commerce in the country, Brian Acton, the company's Co-founder, said in New Delhi on Friday.

Brian Acton, Co-founder, WhatsApp (left) along with Neeraj Arora, Head of Business, WhatsApp, at a session at IIT Delhi.

"India is a very important country to us, and we're proud to have 200 million people here who use WhatsApp to connect with their friends, families, and communities. We build every WhatsApp feature to be simple, reliable, and secure, and this vision is in line with what Digital India promises to achieve," news agency PTI quoted Brian as saying at IIT Delhi.

Acton also met Union IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. "I also appreciated the good role platforms like @facebook, @WhatsApp are playing in the field of digital empowerment," Prasad said in a tweet that included a photograph with the WhatsApp co-founder.

While WhatsApp is facing competition from Hike, Snapchat, and Viber, India remains its biggest market. Of its over one billion users, about 200 million are Indians, for whom the messaging application is their first choice of communication.

According to PTI, the messaging giant has said it will focus on rolling out commercial messaging this year for businesses as it looks to tap into enterprises for monetising its platform. While WhatsApp does not intend to introduce any third-party ads for monetisation, it has said that it will test tools that allow users to communicate with businesses and organisations like banks and airlines through its platform.

Last year, WhatsApp became free for users across the world when it stopped charging its $1 per year subscription fee.

The messaging giant keeps rolling out new updates to keep users hooked. Recently, it introduced Snapchat-like features to turn its platform into a sort of social media app like Facebook.


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