What is WhatsApp's source of income

WhatsApp: This is how the messaging service wants to make money

WhatsApp: This is how the messenger should finance itself in the future.
Image: Facebook / WhatsApp / Montage: teltarif.de WhatsApp founder Jan Koum dropped the bomb at the DLD conference in Munich: WhatsApp will be free again in the future - although there were initially problems with the lifelong activation of the free WhatsApp account. For the future of the messenger, however, questions arise: How will WhatsApp be financed in the future? What does the announcement mean for the competition? Are advertising and data sales to be considered in order to cover the running costs?

Financing: WhatsApp has a plan

WhatsApp: This is how the messenger should finance itself in the future.
Image: Facebook / WhatsApp / Montage: teltarif.de Since the takeover by Facebook, WhatsApp has no longer had any financial worries. Koum said quite openly that growth was now in the foreground. The plan is therefore to initially attract or keep as many users as possible on the platform with practical features. You can later earn money with the help of the large user base, since access to so many users should be of some value to many companies. Koum sees communication tools between consumers and companies as the most important source of funding. In an interview with the dpa, Koum said that WhatsApp could ask other companies to pay for their presence on the WhatsApp platform.

In fact, this should be a promising model - at least as long as users continue to rely on WhatsApp. Many online magazines now use WhatsApp to distribute information to readers or to collect feedback from readers. WhatsApp does not currently offer its own APIs for these functions. Instead, service providers have established themselves who charge the media companies in some cases not inconsiderable amounts and, in return, distribute the news. Our WhatsApp push service is also implemented using such a service provider. However, these services are currently working in a gray area, as such push services are not actually provided via the WhatsApp platform. In view of the popularity of this service, however, it can be assumed that corresponding features will soon be integrated into WhatsApp. Conversely, this means the quick end for the various WhatsApp service providers, because WhatsApp is likely to have a great interest in asking the media to pay directly.

Other features are also conceivable with a messenger. Customer support by means of a smartphone messenger could be an interesting way for many companies to reach customers more quickly and in a more targeted manner. Money transfers via the messenger are also conceivable. Facebook has already presented corresponding plans - now these features could also 'enrich' WhatsApp.

Companies, in turn, could be present on WhatsApp with their own offers: LG, for example, has a messenger solution for the Internet of Things on offer - LG HomeChat. Why shouldn't the customer want to chat with their washing machine? For example, the washing machine could send a message when the current washing or drying process is finished and even selecting a program could be simplified using chat logic. HomeChat is now a special channel that can be reached via the Messenger Line. Such functions could also flourish for WhatsApp users in the future. Perhaps also the text control for the vacuum robot: "Right, left, one meter back, stooooooooop ..."

Allegation: WhatsApp could rely on advertising or data sales

Since the functions outlined above have not yet been implemented, WhatsApp currently has no concrete business model. This of course allows speculation that WhatsApp could use advertising or data sales as a source of income in the future. Jan Koum regularly emphasizes to the public that this is not planned. He agrees with Mark Zuckerberg, head of Facebook, that advertising on WhatsApp is not the right way to earn money. The sale or evaluation of user data is also not considered.

Every user has to decide for himself whether one wants to believe the public statements. However, Koum and Zuckerberg have to be measured by their promises. No matter how large the user base is: WhatsApp cannot afford a massive loss of trust - after all, competitors such as Snapchat or Viber can be installed and set up quickly.

WhatsApp free: what does this mean for the competition?

A WhatsApp account is almost a matter of course for smartphone users. There are a lot of good alternatives, but the prevalence does not come close to WhatsApp. For services such as Viber, Line, Threema or Signal (arbitrary selection) it will be even more difficult in the future: Among other things, these indicate that they are free or only require one-time costs - in contrast to WhatsApp, which is sometimes not explicitly mentioned. Such a cost argument is now in vain.

Instead, properties such as data protection, encryption and security are likely to be given a new meaning in order to win customers over. The success of Snapchat shows that users are definitely interested in alternative approaches - in this case, among other things, the limited storage time for pictures and messages. The competition must take this as an example and convince users of the real added value of their own platform.

We will inform you about alternatives to WhatsApp on an advice page on smartphone messengers.