Have you ever wondered how a messaging app could make money whilst giving free texting and calling? WhatsApp users in India may be surprised to find out that there’s 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 probably the perfect example of the vast potential which messaging apps hold. With well over 900 million monthly active users, WeChat enables them to do everything from messaging, purchasing grocery, hailing cabs, purchasing online food and also offline payments at restaurants – this all without having to go to another app. These kinds of services not only provide the company incredible customer stickiness, additionally they create a remarkable revenue model.
At the moment, WeChat’s rivals outside China such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Viber and also Line are behind the curve on this front, even though some have started on the way to becoming greater platforms. “The actual reason chat apps are widening beyond communications is to create a sustainable monetisation strategy,” said Neha Dharia, a senior analyst with a focus on messaging at London-based research firm Ovum. “Chat apps are shifting from being just a provider of communication tools chat, voice and video) to becoming a platform for the exchange of services, payment mechanisms as well as content consumption.”
WhatsApp, the biggest messaging app on the planet with 1.3 billion every month active users, introduced a business version in India very early this week. “Based on research, we know that people are employing WhatsApp to speak to businesses.
make business messaging far more convenient for individuals and much more productive for businesses,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said in response to ET’s questions. Whatsapp Business is a separate app from Whatsapp Messenger, aimed largely at giving a direct communication platform to small businesses, a lot of who might be using WhatsApp already.
Even while Whatsapp has maintained the service free, it may expand it to larger businesses with added features like analytics, by which it could demand a usage fee at a later stage, therefore developing a revenue model, segment watchers said. This actually also is geared at raising subscriber connect that it can leverage for future monetization of its other services. The greater agenda – and a more important one – for these companies is to get active users to take more time on the app or services and also make it viable for revenue generation, according to specialists.
“Each and every technology company is competing for consumer stickiness, interaction as well as time invested on the app, and in order to keep them in the app’s ecosystem they’re widening themselves to turn into platforms. Just being messaging applications that offer cost-free services certainly won’t be a good revenuegeneration model,” said Jayanth Kolla, founding father of Bengaluru-based research firm Convergence Catalyst.
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