WhatsApp is planning later this year to offer banks, airlines and other businesses the ability to send one-way messages to customers, people familiar with the plans said. It will be WhatsApp’s first official move to lure businesses onto the messaging app.
WhatsApp has said it would soon start testing business accounts, but it’s now becoming clear how limited the initial service will be. Companies likely will only be able to send notifications to people who have opted to receive messages from them on the app. Users may not be able to respond to those notifications at first. But businesses will be able to send richer messages, with tickets or cards embedded, than the clunky links that they send over SMS or by email.