Most of us woke up with a pleasant notification from what’sApp a couple of days back. There will be no fees attached to using the service anymore. From US to Australia, from the Scandinavian nations to distant South Africa, users cheered this latest what’sApp notification with equal euphoria.
But the interesting element in this whole story is not that users can get free access to what’sApp but the commercial implications of this move. Given the increased use of What’sApp it is soon replacing many conventional ad and promotional techniques as the most preferred mode of communication.
This app-based company which Facebook acquired in 2014 for $19.2 billion is now in the process of testing new grounds. They are checking a novel notification process that would enable airlines, restaurants and credit card companies to interact with consumers directly. This could even include notification about recent transactions or a possible flight delay or any such direct communication requirement with a distinctive initiative to keep spam and mass messages out of the way.
In many ways what’sApp with its nearly 1 bilion user base is a rich trend indicator as consumers from different walks of life use this messaging platform for a myriad of function. So not only does it open up many unique advertisement opportunities but at the same time it has moved well ahead of competition from peer group like WeChat and Skype. While Skype has fairly limited reach on mobile, WeChat’s third party ads and spam messages work against its interests. The idea is to look at unlocking a completely new user base that has been inaccessible due to its revenue based subscription model in many parts of the world.
So with What’sApp becoming even more accessible across the world, the monetisation of this platform is solely based on the creating the consumer-seller connect and capitalising on direct communication. It’s perhaps now time to see how What’sApp can convert these headwinds into potential business innovation.