Ever wondered the way a messaging app could make money while giving free texting and calling? WhatsApp users in India might be surprised to find out that there are a lot more to messaging apps than communicating. Here is how: by providing services like digital payments, online shopping and content.
China’s WeChat is one of the ultimate example of the vast opportunity that messaging apps hold. With well over Nine hundred million monthly active users, WeChat assists them do anything from messaging, buying grocery, hailing cabs, buying online food as well as offline payments at restaurants - all of this without needing to go to another app. These services not only provide the company extraordinary customer stickiness, they also create a exceptional revenue model.
At this point, WeChat’s competition outside China including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Viber and also Line are behind the curve on this front, even though some have begun on the way to becoming bigger platforms. “The actual reason chat apps are widening beyond communications is to create a lasting monetisation strategy,” said Neha Dharia, a senior analyst with a focus on messaging at London-based research firm Ovum. “Chat apps are shifting away from being merely a provider of communication tools chat, voice as well as video) to becoming a platform for the exchange of services, payment mechanisms and also content consumption.”
WhatsApp, the largest messaging app in the world with 1.3 billion monthly active users, introduced a business version in India very early this week. “Based on research, we all know that people are utilizing WhatsApp to speak with businesses.
make business messaging more convenient for individuals and much more efficient for businesses,” a WhatsApp spokesman said in respond to ET’s questions. Whatsapp Business is a separate app from Whatsapp Messenger, aimed mostly at giving a direct communication platform to smaller businesses, the majority of who may be using WhatsApp already.
Whilst Whatsapp has maintained the service free, it might extend it to bigger businesses with added features like analytics, in which it may well charge a usage fee at a later stage, therefore developing a revenue model, segment watchers said. This actually also is targeted at improving subscriber connect that it can leverage for future monetization of its other services. The bigger agenda - and a more critical one - for these businesses is to get active users to spend a lot more time on the app or services and make it viable for profit generation, based on specialists.
“Each and every technology company is vying for consumer stickiness, interaction along with time spent on the app, and in order to keep them around the app’s ecosystem they are widening themselves to turn into platforms. Just being messaging Alternative Apps that offer free services won’t be a strong revenuegeneration model,” said Jayanth Kolla, founding father of Bengaluru-based research firm Convergence Catalyst.