Facebook, which owns Whatsapp, will now display ads of businesses that link out to WhatsApp, meaning businesses can purchase ads that leads people directly to a chat with them on WhatsApp. The message function on WhatsApp is similar to the one on Facebook, where you can message a business from their Facebook page.

Businesses will be able to respond to customers for free if they answer within 24 hours but Facebook will charge them for any response that’s after 24 hours, as Facebook is trying to cash in on its many apps.

A good idea?

The Click-to-WhatsApp will be shown in display ads on Facebook, and appear as a Send Message button. By leveraging ads in Facebook’s news feed, Facebook hopes to raise people’s level of awareness of and engagement with businesses on WhatsApp.

Brands can only buy Click-to-WhatsApp ads by boosting an organic Page post and selecting a menu option to add the click-to-WhatsApp button. For now, brands cannot access them through Facebook’s self-serve ad-buying tool or its advertising API. It will be up to businesses to decide if it wants to offer real-time support and is a way of enticing businesses to stay on the platform.

WhatsApp, however, is against the idea of placing ads in the app, as they believe it is a less intrusive way of monetising the app.

WhatsApp opened up its platform to business users last September. Since then, it has kept the number of businesses using the app disclosed. Facebook said it has tested the new messaging tool with around 90 businesses, including Uber and Singapore Airlines. The platform is apparently rolling it out gradually, starting in North and South America, Africa and Australia.