Kicking its monetisation plan in India, WhatsApp, the instant messaging app owned by Facebook, has collaborated with ticket booking platform BookMyShow.
According to a report by FactorDaily, the collaboration between the two platforms is beyond the pilot testing stage. “(We are) not piloting — we have integrated with WhatsApp for sending confirmation… and in more than (one) way. The conversations are on various fronts,” a company source was quoted as saying.
BookMyShow according to sources looking at options involving payments and commerce through WhatsApp. As of now, service is not completely in sync with messaging app. When Entrackr team made an attempt to book a ticket through WhatsApp, it popped up a message saying they are verified business chat account and working towards listening to user.
Besides, on BookMyShow app payment options in wallet had only Freecharge, WhatsApp has not figured anywhere till the publication of this report. Once the process complete, Whatsapp users would be able to book tickets through messaging platform, said sources.
This is not all. WhatsApp is also in talks with other companies to offer its service for cab, hotels and airlines booking. Cab-hailing firm Ola, hotel rooms aggregator OYO and airlines Spicejet and Indigo are companies, with whom instant messaging app mulling discussion for business collaboration. Queries sent by Entrackr to WhatsApp did not elicit any response.
Facebook owned firm has long been planning to foray into digital payments services in India. In April, it hired a candidate with the technical and financial background, who also has an understanding of Unified Payments Interface (UPI), BHIM payments app and Aadhaar number. According to the blog website “WABetaInfo”, WhatsApp has been working on its plans towards bank-to-bank transfer using the UPI system.
The firm has earlier posted a job advertisement to hire a Communications Manager, India and Product Manager, Monetization, among many vacancies on its site. At present, WhatsApp has more than 200 employees.
In February, the company’s co-founder Brian Acton had met IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to discuss ways in which the company could contribute to India’s vision for digital commerce.
India is the biggest market for the company. Of its over one billion users, about 200 million are from India. This is the first time the world’s largest chat application has started monetising its platform.
Messaging App has not introduced advertising as a revenue stream even though its base of monthly active users has topped 1.3 billion.
Started in 2009, and acquired by Facebook for $19 billion in February 2014, it had started planning ways to monetise WhatsApp. In India, it competes with the likes of Hike, Snapchat and Viber.
At present, the messaging App is the leading player in the messaging space, followed by Facebook Messenger that crossed a billion monthly users in July and Tencent’s WeChat that has 938 million monthly active users as of May 2017.