Since a year ago, WhatsApp has been testing WhatsApp Business, which lets companies message customers with things like boarding passes, shipping information, and responses to customer service inquiries.
"Group calls are always end-to-end encrypted, and we've designed calling to work reliably around the world in different network conditions", said Facebook-owned WhatsApp in a blog post.
Businesses can respond to messages from people for free if the response is made within 24 hours.
WhatsApp, which has around 1.5 billion users, said starting Wednesday businesses can use its WhatsApp Business API to send notifications such as shipping confirmations, appointment reminders and event tickets.
Start a conversation: You may see a click-to-chat button on a website or Facebook ad to quickly message a business. Tardy responses by businesses will incur costs. To prevent spamming, businesses can send messages only to people who contacted them first. But with both the original creators out of the picture, it looks like Facebook is finally trying to make some money out of it. It also reported WhatsApp is now working with a select number of companies that specialize in managing customer communications to bring the API to more businesses over a period of time. Do note that you need to download the latest version of the WhatsApp app via Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Companies will be able to provide information and services, such as delivery dates or boarding passes, to customers via the platform for which the businesses will have to pay a fee for a confirmed delivery.
Facebook shares plummeted last week on disappointing results.