According to new reports, Facebook is preparing an enterprise version of WhatsApp, dubbed WhatsApp for Business, for early trials in India.
There few small business in South Africa that don’t leverage WhatsApp in some small sense, and Facebook’s newest product could bring the power of the instant messaging platform to the doorsteps of small enterprises. Enter WhatsApp for Business.
Hot on the heels of Facebook’s Workplace – an enterprise-grade version of the popular social networking site – WhatsApp for Business is presently in the design and testing phase, and will reportedly have a pilot launch in its biggest market – India.
India boasts 200 million monthly active WhatsApp users – a rough 15% of the app’s total overall user base – and was responsible for an enormous 14 billion messages exchanged on New Year’s Eve.
The report, which comes by way of Forbes, reveals that WhatsApp for Business could be Facebook’s first earnest attempt at monetizing the platform.
Reports trickled in last year indicating that Facebook was actively preparing the platform for the imminent arrival of bots, which would allow general consumers to interact with top brands through casual chats on the service.
Acrimony emerged after Facebook introduced an update to its terms and conditions last year, which introduced a data-sharing policy for the purpose of enhancing the social experience on the former platform.
Facebook later agreed to cease data sharing in the UK, and WhatsApp is presently under investigation in the European Union for its data-sharing practices.
What are your thoughts? Should Facebook expand WhatsApp for Business, or should the service remain a free and fun way to connect with friends and family? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!