How Free Messaging Apps Like WhatsApp & WeChat Make Money

Communication with free messaging such as WhatsApp and WeChat has become part of our life. Gone are the days when customers were charged for sending text messages. We all love to use free services, but an important arises that how these companies make money even after giving everything for free to consumers.

WeChat has more than 900 million monthly active users that use it to do messaging, order food online, ordering food online, and even buying groceries. WeChat has many games produced by Tencent that users buy for fun. WeChat helps offline businesses use an online platform to sell items for which online payments platform Weixin earns a commission from the sales. Other apps such as WhatsApp, Viber, Line, and Facebook Messenger have started to follow the business model similar to WeChat.

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WhatsApp introduced a revenue model in 2014, which asked users to pay $0.99 as a membership fee for one year, and the company made more than $ 1 billion in just nine months, but after a $19-billion deal with Facebook, these charges were removed again.

Experts believe that companies are doing this to have a sustainable revenue model that can be better done by becoming a platform that can be used to exchange services. WhatsApp is currently the most popular messaging application with more than 1.3 billion monthly active users. WhatsApp introduced a new business application just a week ago. With the commercial app, WhatsApp may require owners to pay a specific amount for some additional features that will only be available to paid users. Courier service providers know that people are also using it for business purposes and want to profit from it. However, they are now focusing on providing better ways of doing business with these applications.

Line earns money in a different way, they use free games that generate money from in-game purchases and many other services. Another source of profit for Line is the stickers that users buy to send as messages. The Official accounts for popular businesses and celebrities pay Line for sending promotional messages.

In simple words, the free messaging apps earn money with

  • Subscription charges for extra features
  • Advertisements
  • Stickers
  • Official accounts
  • Filters, themes
  • In-app purchases
  • Payment gateways

With a large audience spending most of their time online on these apps, the future for these companies is very bright. There is a strong possibility that these applications launch their own payment gateways and can also integrate with banks.

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