Last year, WhatsApp launched its first business app for Application Programme Interface (API), titled WhatsApp Business. The idea was to provide a platform for businesses, both small and large, to interact with their clients, via online messaging. Until now, the chat services facilitated by WhatsApp for business platforms and users were free. However, things are now up for a change. WhatsApp is set to monetise, as well as expand, its services for business purposes. But don’t fret as of now! These charges are applicable only for business enterprises. WhatsApp is still free of cost for its millions of users.

In a blog post on its website, WhatsApp announced the release of additional features for the users of WhatsApp Business application. The Facebook-owned enterprise is expanding its support and services for businesses, as well as users, by instilling powerful and efficient tools for better communication opportunities.

A WhatsApp Business user can now request a shipping confirmation or a boarding pass from a business on WhatsApp by requesting the same from their website, their app or for that matter their store personnel. A client can even start a conversation on WhatsApp, with any business by clicking on the click-to-chat button on their website or their Facebook ad. The businesses, however, do not enjoy the same liberty. An enterprise can only message a customer if first contacted by one. Also, businesses will have to pay for every message sent after 24 hours of the initial interaction. As per recent reports, the businesses will be charged between 34 paise to 6 rupees per message in India.

WhatsApp Business users can also get support from some businesses in real time. Through online messaging, on WhatsApp, customer services are set for a welcoming hike. “With this approach, [users] will continue to have full control over the messages [they] receive. Businesses will pay to send certain messages so they are selective and your chats don’t get cluttered. In addition, messages will remain end-to-end encrypted and [users] can block any business with the tap of a button”, WhatsApp writes on its blog.

Launched last year, WhatsApp Business has already amassed as much as 3 million users.