Facebook will charge for WhatsApp Business services

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Facebook-owned WhatsApp is censored in China as the Communist Party Congress begins.Jaap Arriens | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Facebook announced Thursday that it will start charging businesses for some of its WhatsApp Business chat services.WhatsApp Business enables small and medium businesses to chat with customers, provide support, and sell products directly. Facebook said it will soon offer services like hosting, to help partners manage chat messages with customers, inventory and more. WhatsApp Business has over 50 million business users and 175 million people worldwide send messages to a business every day.

Facebook has struggled to generate significant revenue through WhatsApp, which it acquired for $ 16 billion in 2014, and relies primarily on advertising on Facebook and Instagram to generate revenue. It’s one of Facebook’s acquisitions that is coming under close scrutiny by the House Justice Subcommittee on Antitrust, which determined earlier this month that Facebook wields monopoly power over networks. social.

Facebook told CNBC that it charges companies to send certain messages to customers, like boarding passes or product receipts, but that costs vary depending on the market and the amount of messages sent. He didn’t provide details on what additional services he plans to charge, or how much they cost, just that he plans to change the way he bills businesses.

Facebook said it will use a portion of the revenue from commercial sales to continue providing free services to its more than two billion WhatsApp users.

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