Have you ever wondered just how a messaging app could make money whilst offering free texting and calling? WhatsApp users at India might be surprised to find out that there’s far more to messaging apps than communicating. Here is how: by offering services like digital payments, online shopping as well as content.
China’s WeChat is just about the best example of the great possibilities that messaging apps hold. With well over App Alternatives , WeChat enables them do almost everything from messaging, buying grocery, hailing cabs, ordering online food and also offline payments at restaurants - all of this without having to go to another app. These kinds of services not merely provide the company unbelievable customer stickiness, additionally they create a outstanding revenue model.
Right now, WeChat’s competition outside China this includes WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Viber and also Line are behind the curve on this front, even though some have started on the path to becoming bigger platforms. “The reason chat apps are widening beyond communications is to build a sustainable monetisation strategy,” said Neha Dharia, a senior analyst with a focus on messaging at London-based research firm Ovum. “Chat apps are moving away from being simply a provider of communication tools chat, voice and video) to being a platform for the exchange of services, payment mechanisms and content consumption.”
WhatsApp, the largest messaging app in the world with 1.3 billion every month active users, introduced a business version in India early on this week. “Based on research, we all know that people WhatsApp to talk to businesses.
make business messaging less difficult for people and much more efficient for businesses,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said in response to ET’s questions. Whatsapp Business is a separate app from Whatsapp Messenger, aimed mainly at giving a direct communicating platform to small businesses, many of who may be using WhatsApp already.
Even while Whatsapp has maintained the service free, it may broaden it to larger businesses with added features such as analytics, in which it could demand a usage fee at a later stage, thus creating a revenue model, segment watchers said. This actually also is aimed at improving subscriber connect that it can make use of for future monetization of its other services. The bigger agenda - and a more crucial one - for these firms is to get active users to take a lot more time on the app or services as well as make it viable for revenue generation, according to specialists.
“Each technology company is competing for consumer stickiness, interaction and time spent on the app, and in order to keep them around the app’s ecosystem they’re widening themselves to turn into platforms. Merely being messaging apps offering free services is not going to be a good revenuegeneration model,” said Jayanth Kolla, founder of Bengaluru-based research firm Convergence Catalyst.