This is a question that most users ask themselves, if WhatsApp is completely free, how do they make money? The answer is not entirely clear and the application has evolved over the 10 years It has been in the market.
WhatsApp is the most downloaded and used messenger application in the world, and it's completely free. At first they opted for a payment application, then for a subscription model, but now they charge absolutely nothing. That is something that worries Facebook, owner of the application for a few years, and that could change completely in the future.
The different ways WhatsApp has to make money
When WhatsApp appeared in February 2019, the application worked exclusively on the iPhone and BlackBerry devices. At the time had a price of 0.79 eurosHowever, when it was launched for Android devices in 2010 the app changed its plan to try to expand becoming free for a period of time.
After that time WhatsApp started charging an annual subscription, it was only 0.99 euros a year, but the users did not take it well and the application rectified up to their current business model. A model in which the user should not pay anything to use the application.
Much has been speculated about the data traffic that WhatsApp can collect from its users, however The introduction of end-to-end encryption, theoretically, guarantees that our messages are upfront. At this point we find an app with millions of users who can not earn anything from them, however now is when it can begin to be profitable that large number of people sending messages at all hours. Facebook bought WhatsApp for more than 20,000 million dollars and wants it to start being profitable.
This is a special WhatsApp for companies that is already available in the vast majority of countries where WhatsApp has an outstanding share. WhatsApp Business allows small businesses to contact users in a much simpler way and until you can place orders from the app itself.
WhatsApp never charge users for this function, but surely Facebook does want to charge businesses that want to advertise in the future. There are more than 3 million companies that already use WhatsApp Business, so it can be an important future business.
This is something that is confirmed, Ads will come to WhatsApp next year and all users will see them in your application. Its operation will be very similar to what we have in other applications such as Instagram, that is, they will not be invasive.
The first images about the ads on WhatsApp have already been seen and everything indicates that will be incorporated into the states. WhatsApp states are those stories that appear on the left side of the app menu, from 2020 we will see ads when we jump from the states of one contact to those of another.
This is the last idea of WhatsApp that is already succeeding in other applications like that, The street estimated that they could generate between 5 and 15 billion dollars. The company is beginning to deploy its own payments among users in India and it is very likely that in a few months it will begin to expand to more countries.
Payments between WhatsApp users is a direct way to make money for the company, which may even join WhatsApp Business forcing users to use their payment method to purchase different products.
These are Facebook's medium-term plans to make money with WhatsApp, the application has managed to consolidate itself as the global reference at messenger level and now the time has come to monetize it. It seems that at the moment the users will not be very affected, the ads will not spoil the experience too much and the payments through the app are an interesting function.
It is not ruled out that in the future new forms appear by Facebook to monetize WhatsApp, We do not rule out the possibility of a return to an annual subscription, many users are willing to do so. However, for now, these are the WhatsApp plans and with which the company makes money.