How Apps Like WhatsApp, WeChat Could Make Money While Providing Free Texting And Calling

Ever thought how a messaging app can make money while providing free texting and calling? WhatsApp users within India might be surprised to know that there are a lot more to messaging apps than communicating. Here is how: by providing services for example digital payments, online shopping and content.
China’s WeChat is among the perfect example of the huge possibilities which messaging apps hold. With well over Nine hundred million monthly active users, WeChat enables them to do everything from messaging, buying grocery, hailing cabs, ordering online food as well as offline payments at restaurants - all this without having to go to another app. These services not only offer the company extraordinary customer stickiness, they also create a wonderful revenue model.
At App Alternative , WeChat’s competitors outside China including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Viber and Line are behind the curve on this front, even though some have begun on the road to becoming bigger platforms. “The reason chat apps are growing beyond communications is to develop 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 merely a provider of communication tools chat, voice and also video) to being a platform for the exchange of services, payment mechanisms and content consumption.”
WhatsApp, the largest messaging app on the planet with 1.3 billion monthly active users, introduced a business version in India early on this week. “Based on research, we know that people are employing WhatsApp to speak to businesses.
make business messaging more convenient for folks and more efficient for businesses,” a WhatsApp spokesman said in response to ET’s questions. Whatsapp Business is a separate app from Whatsapp Messenger, aimed mostly at giving a direct communicating platform to smaller businesses, many of who might be using WhatsApp already.

Whilst Whatsapp has maintained the service free, it may extend it to bigger businesses with added features like analytics, from which it could charge a usage fee at a later stage, therefore making a revenue model, segment watchers said. This also is geared at increasing subscriber connect that it can make use of for future monetization of their other services. The larger agenda - and a more critical one - for these corporations is to get active users to spend far more time on the app or services and make it viable for profit generation, based on experts.
“Each and every technology company is competing for consumer stickiness, interaction and also time invested on the app, and in order to keep them within the app’s ecosystem they are broadening themselves to turn into platforms. Merely being messaging applications that provide free services will not be a good revenuegeneration model,” said Jayanth Kolla, founding father of Bengaluru-based research firm Convergence Catalyst.