India to pay crucial role in WhatsApp’s business solutions push

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WhatsApp is working on solutions which will enable businesses to use the platform to connect with consumers and India will play a “crucial role” for the product, a company official said today.

WhatsApp last year had test tools that allowed users to communicate with businesses and organisations like banks and airlines through its platform.

WhatsApp as of now does not intend to introduce any third- party ads, but it is looking at ways through which these platforms can be monetized.
“… we are definitely in building the product phase. So, what you will see over the year is different tests, both for small and large businesses, and figuring out what’s a good experience for these businesses on WhatsApp,” WhatsApp spokesperson Matt Steinfeld said.He further said: “India is going to play a crucial role in that.”

India is the biggest market for WhatsApp. Of its over one billion users, about 200 million are here. In India, it competes with the likes of Hike and SnapChat.

WhatsApp is also attempting to foray into digital payment services, with India as a test bed. The company is looking to hire a digital transactions head for the country.

In February, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton had met IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to discuss ways in which WhatsApp could contribute to India’s vision for digital commerce.

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Madhurima Goyal, From ITvoir News Desk

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