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Facebook to allow Business-to-Consumer Chat For WhatsApp

Facebook Inc. [NASDAQ: FB] is considering options to allow businesses to connect to the users directly through WhatsApp. This feature may help the social media giant to monetize on the messaging platform they acquired in 2014.

Facebook’s CFO David Wehner shared this thought at the JP Morgan Technology Conference in Boston on Monday. This idea may lead Facebook monetize its investment of $19 billion, it incurred in the purchase of WhatsApp.

Facebook is looking at an option of enabling B2C messaging, and it can charge the businesses for reaching out to the consumers.

The consumers may be given an option to select the type of businesses they would like to interact.

No further details about the actual working of the functionality or probable dates for the changes are available as of now.

Businesses are already reaching out to consumers through WhatsApp.

Marketing firms are sending messages over WhatsApp using a number of unauthorized applications. Facebook may try to curb this and come out with its platform offering and monetize the B2C messaging.

WhatsApp has till date remained ad-free and free of any marketing gimmicks. WhatsApp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton were against marketing campaigns when they owned the WhatsApp.

WhatsApp is expected to reach a critical mass of 1 billion users this year.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has pointed earlier that they may look for avenues of monetizing WhatsApp once it reaches the 1 billion users mark.

WhatsApp currently has more than 800 million active subscribers per month and is one of the popular mobile messaging platforms.

In countries like India, the app is quite popular and is used by users for instantly reaching other users.

The service is being used by small mom and pop stores to reach directly to the target consumers in small localities already.