Within just three months after the launch, WhatsApp Business crosses an active user base of over three million people, said WhatsApp's parent company Facebook. During the Facebook's Q1 2018 Earnings Call, Mark Zuckerburg, CEO of Facebook revealed this news. The standalone WhatsApp Business app is used by 1.5 billion people across six countries- India, United States, Indonesia, Italy, Britain and Mexico. Achieving such a staggering number in a such a quick time could be touted as exceptional, but WhatsApp launched this service with much fanfare, so no surprises here. However, it's unclear whether the active user base is on a monthly basis or daily basis.
"Over the next five years, we're focused on building out the business ecosystems around our apps like Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. I think what you're going to start to see are people interacting with Pages that you follow, Pages on Facebook or Instagram," said Zuckerburg during the earnings calls.
WhatsApp Business is a standalone application introduced back in January 2018 in six countries. The service competes with the likes of Apple's Business Chat and RCS messaging for Android. In fact, WhatsApp Business goes against Facebook's own Messenger platform chat apps which offer features of helping businesses to connect with users.
The service is being rolled out in phases, and in the future, we might see P2M payments on the WhatsApp Business application, same as how payments on Messenger works. This is something Zuckerberg hinted at the conference. "You see content from that Page, and you can click through to a message thread, and then you can either get customer support or complete a transaction or do a follow-on transaction, and that will be very valuable for businesses, so we view the payment in that context, not as the goal but as something that's helping the business and the person succeed at having a transaction or doing what they're trying to do," Zuckerberg noted. This news was reported by Venture Beat.
In India, already many major companies joined the WhatsApp Business service. Platforms such as Bookmyshow, Netflix, Redbus etc. have already joined the network, while other companies such as Xiaomi are using WhatsApp Business as a medium to provide services such as taking repair requests, informing about the latest MIUI updates and so on.
That said, WhatsApp Business is currently available only for the Android users, but Facebook said that a standalone app for the Apple iOS is under works. If the iOS app comes out this quarter, then the user base of WhatsApp Business will see a massive surge.