How Do Free Messaging Apps Like WhatsApp and WeChat Make Money?

18 Apr, 2022 15:17 IST|Sakshi Post

WhatsApp, WeChat And Line: Free messaging apps like WhatsApp and WeChat have become a part of our daily lives. The days of users being charged for sending text messages are long gone. We all like using free services, but the question of how these businesses make money after delivering everything for free to customers arises.

WeChat has over 900 million monthly active users who use it for texting, online meal ordering, grocery shopping, and even paying at restaurants. Tencent's games are widely available on WeChat, and users can purchase them to have fun. Tencent's online payment platform, Weixin, receives a commission when offline businesses use WeChat to sell goods. Other applications, including WhatsApp, Viber, Line, and Facebook Messenger, have begun to adopt WeChat's revenue model.

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In 2014, WhatsApp adopted a business model that asked users to pay $0.99 for a year of membership; the company made more than $1 billion in just nine months. However, after the $19-billion deal with Facebook, these charges were removed.

Experts feel that businesses are doing so to develop a long-term income model that may be improved by becoming a platform for the exchange of services. With over 1.3 billion monthly active users, WhatsApp is presently the most popular messaging programme. Whatsapp has released a new business app. Whatsapp can charge company owners a fee for extra services that are only available to premium customers if they have a business app. Messaging service providers are aware that their services are being used for commercial purposes, and they wish to benefit from it. However, for the time being, they are concentrating on developing better ways to do business using these apps.

Line uniquely makes money: it employs free-to-play games to generate revenue through in-game sales as well as a variety of other services. Line stickers, which users purchase to transmit as messages, are another source of revenue. The line is paid for delivering promotional messages through official accounts for well-known brands and personalities.

To put it another way, free messaging applications make money with the following features on their platforms:

  • Extra features need a subscription fee
  • Advertisements
  • Stickers
  • Official accounts
  • Themes and filters
  • Purchases made within the app
  • Gateways for payments

With such a large audience that spends the majority of their online time on these applications, these businesses have a bright future. There's a good probability that these applications will develop their payment gateways, which will be able to interact with banks as well. And alas, WhatsApp Pay is one such product.

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