How does WhatsApp make money?
Does WhatsApp really make money? If no, then how does it maintain its services? If yes, then how?
Quick Answer: WhatsApp makes money in two major ways: the WhatsApp Business Platform (formerly WhatsApp Business API) and click-to-WhatsApp ads.
Does WhatsApp make money? If yes, then how, seeing that it is free to use and ad-free? If you’ve been asking these same questions, you’re not alone.
Meta spent a whopping $22 billion to purchase WhatsApp from Brian Acton and Jan Koum in 2014. You would expect that there was money to be earned.
So, back to the question, does WhatsApp make money? The simple answer is ‘yes,’ but it’s not through the botched in-chat ads, the free WhatsApp Messenger, or even the WhatsApp Business app.
How WhatsApp makes money
WhatsApp makes money through the WhatsApp Business Platform, formerly called the WhatsApp Business API.
While WhatsApp Business (for small businesses) is free, the WhatsApp Business Platform (for medium to large businesses) isn’t.
Businesses can access the WhatsApp Business Platform via third-party providers/resellers known as WhatsApp Partners or Business Service Partners (BSPs) for a fee.
Businesses that don’t want to go through a BSP can access the platform directly through the WhatsApp Cloud API, also for a (smaller) fee.
A look at the WhatsApp Business Platform pricing structure
WhatsApp Business Platform uses a conversation-based pricing model. We’ll break it down below:
- Business-initiated conversations (a conversation with a user that was initiated after the 24-hour customer service window)
- User-initiated conversations (a conversation with a business initiated by a user)
- Free-tier conversations (1,000 free messages per month)
- Free entry conversations (ads that lead to WhatsApp or a Facebook Page CTA). WhatsApp also makes money from these click-to-WhatsApp ads.
That’s a basic rundown of how it works, but how much does everything cost?
How much does WhatsApp’s API service cost?
Below is a sample of the current rate card showing the cost per conversation in USD for business-initiated and user-initiated conversations, effective until May 31, 2023.
|Market||Currency||Business-Initiated Rate||User-Initiated Rate|
|United Arab Emirates||$US||0.0316||0.019|
|Rest of Africa||$US||0.1208||0.0363|
|Rest of Asia Pacific||$US||0.0745||0.0224|
|Rest of Central & Eastern Europe||$US||0.0835||0.025|
|Rest of Latin America||$US||0.0706||0.0423|
|Rest of Middle East||$US||0.0727||0.0218|
|Rest of Western Europe||$US||0.1324||0.0397|
WhatsApp Business Platform to experience more changes
Currently, WhatsApp Business Accounts (WABA) can enjoy 1,000 free messages per month (under the Free Tier Conversation package).
But from June 1, 2023, this will change, and business-initiated conversations with customers will no longer be free.
However, the first 1,000 customer-initiated conversations with WABAs in a month will continue to be free for 24 hours.
Users never have to pay, as all costs (including those for chargeable user-initiated conversations) are handled by the business.
Now you know what’s up
Will WhatsApp re-introduce the discontinued $1-a-year subscription fee or a modification of it? Only time will tell. For now, this is what we know about WhatsApp’s sources of income.
Now you know that WhatsApp makes money from the WhatsApp Business Platform and click-to-WhatsApp ads.
Have any thoughts on this? Drop us a line below in the comments, or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.
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