Ever thought how a messaging app can make money while offering free texting and calling? WhatsApp users in India could be surprised to find out there is a lot more to messaging apps than communicating. Here is how: by offering Apps Similar To as digital payments, online shopping as well as content.
China’s WeChat is among the ultimate example of the huge possibilities which messaging apps hold. With over 900 million monthly active users, WeChat helps them do every thing from messaging, purchasing grocery, hailing cabs, ordering online food as well as offline payments at restaurants - all this without needing to go to another app. These types of services not just offer the company outstanding customer stickiness, they also create a outstanding revenue model.
Right now, WeChat’s competition outside China including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Viber as well as Line are behind the curve on this front, even though some have started on the road to becoming greater platforms. “The reason chat apps are widening 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 from being merely a provider of communication tools chat, voice as well as video) to becoming a platform for the exchange of services, payment mechanisms and content consumption.”
WhatsApp, the largest messaging app on earth with 1.3 billion every month active users, introduced a business version in India early this week. “Based on research, we realize that people are using WhatsApp to speak to businesses.
make business messaging far more convenient for folks and more productive for businesses,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said in respond to ET’s questions. Whatsapp Business is a different app from Whatsapp Messenger, aimed mostly at giving a direct communication platform to smaller businesses, the majority of who might be using WhatsApp already.
Even while Whatsapp has kept the service free, it could broaden it to bigger businesses with added features such as analytics, in which it may well charge a usage fee at a later stage, thus developing a revenue model, segment watchers said. This actually also is aimed at improving subscriber connect that it can make use of for future monetization of its other services. The bigger agenda - and a more critical one - for these firms is to get active users to invest a lot more time on the app or services and make it viable for income generation, according to experts.
“Every single technology company is competing for consumer stickiness, interaction and also time invested on the app, and in order to keep them around the app’s ecosystem they are broadening themselves to become platforms. Just being messaging applications offering free services is not going to be a strong revenuegeneration model,” said Jayanth Kolla, founder of Bengaluru-based research firm Convergence Catalyst.