WhatsApp has over a billion monthly active users as of this year, up from over 700 million in January 2015, but revenue has always been elusive to the mobile messaging app.
However, the company now wants to focus on generating revenues and plans to soon roll out commercial messaging as, enterprises are already using the app to grow their businesses.
In a recent interview Neeraj Arora, head of business at Whatsapp said, “We decided to make WhatsApp free but we also talked about how we will make money. We have been working on ways for businesses to connect with users on WhatsApp… Commercial messaging will be big for us in 2017.”
One country, the company is betting high is India, which is its top market with 160 million monthly active users.
Arora says that Indians, more than anyone else are using the platform, and it is not just to message family and friends.
While Whatsapp has said it will never allow banner ads or a large placement ad that will cover the screen on its platform, it will however, allow users to communicate with businesses and organizations like banks and airlines through its platform. This, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and the current owner of Whatsapp says “is going to be the business that we hope to build on (Facebook) Messenger and WhatsApp over time.”