Facebook adds new WhatsApp business features in hopes of monetizing the app

Businesses can send users boarding passes and other information through WhatsApp

Whatsapp on BlackBerry 10

Facebook is rolling out new ways to monetize popular chat app WhatsApp.

For one, WhatsApp is expanding its business options for users. This includes three new ways for customers to connect to businesses.

The first way is a new shortcut button to start a WhatsApp chat. Businesses can build the button into a website or Facebook ad. Furthermore, it allows the button creators to make preset messages to start the conversation.

Businesses that utilize this new feature can do so for free provided they chat with a customer within the first 24 hours of being messaged. After that initial 24 hours, Facebook will charge the business.

Additionally, WhatsApp now supports the ability for businesses to send customers information. For example, an airline can send you your boarding pass over WhatsApp.

Finally, WhatsApp has also now allowed some businesses to provide real-time support.

The new features highlight the benefits of having an app network like this. Linking features between Facebook and WhatsApp is a smart way of providing users with choice regarding how they interact with businesses.

However, Facebook has tried bringing businesses into chat apps before with limited success.

Considering how similar the two features are, WhatsApp may not work as well as Facebook hopes. Regardless, Facebook needs to do something to boost its earnings after its stock tumbled Monday.

Source: WhatsApp, Facebook Via: The Verge