At an event in IIT Delhi, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton, revealed that WhatsApp is not just keen about its business platform, but that it plans to start a pilot in India and then take it forward to other markets like Brazil and Indonesia.
Talking to Livemint, the co-founder revealed that the company has been working on what he called, WhatsApp for Business for long. He said that while Facebook for Work is targeted at larger businesses or multinationals like IBM, WhatsApp for Business will look at the millions of smaller businesses, starting with India.
WhatsApp is after very small businesses that employ 10 people or less and are looking for a mobile client that will help them manage their business. This would apply for both agents and customers.
These small businesses would include everyone from doctors to grocery stores owners, most of whom are already using WhatsApp to reach out to customers and bring in business.
The new platform that Acton calls WhatsApp for Business will just make it easier for them to communicate since WhatsApp already is a more personal platform, and a lot better than a formal email.
Commenting on how the company will make money off this new platform, Acton said that they currently have no plans and that it would be too early to think about this right now. He confirmed that it would be similar to what WhatsApp is already doing, which is "no ads, no games and no gimmicks".
WhatsApp on its eight birthday announced that it had reached a milestone when it comes to user base and that it also had over 200 million active users in India alone. In all this about 15 percent of the service's global user base this year, which is a big deal.
WhatsApp for Business is expected to be a separate app that business owners will have to download. It will give them access and better control over their conversations and engage with a larger groups of users. The app as of now is still in the design and testing phase as per the report.