TECH

WhatsApp Could Be Testing A Feature That Lets Businesses Talk To You

Everything boils down to money...

09/03/2017 12:11 GMT

WhatsApp might sometimes feel like a human right, but actually it’s a company that needs to make money, just like the rest of them.

Well it looks like one of the ways that it could make that money is by allowing businesses to chat to you, whether that’s for updates, customer service or smart notifications.

Brazil Photo Press/CON via Getty Images

According to and exclusive report from Reuters, the tests are being conducted with a number of small startups that are part of the hugely successful Y Combinator startup incubator.

WhatsApp has always avoided using ads in its app for fear of alienating its 1+ billion users so this could be seen as a relatively intrusive compromise.

Of course the idea of businesses WhatsApp messaging you probably doesn’t sound like a compromise at all, but it’s unlikely the company would ever let it feel like you’re being spammed.

The company has been working on expanding a set of tools that would be able to integrate their own services into WhatsApp.

One example that could be used is a bank contacting you directly through WhatsApp if it has detected fraudulent activity on your account.

Reuters has discovered that a number of startups from Y Combinator have apparently been working with WhatsApp to develop this technology.

One such company was Cowlar Inc, a company that makes smart collars for cows on dairy farms. In their use case, the company wants to use WhatsApp to then send direct diagnostic information from the cow to the dairy farmer.

So as you can see, it’s not about turning WhatsApp into a place where companies can spam you, but rather simply using WhatsApp as the communication tool for talking to these companies when you want to.

Of course it should be important to note that this is all speculation as WhatsApp has declined to comment on the story.

Best Smartphones To Buy In 2017

  • Apple iPhone 7
    Eduardo Munoz / Reuters
    This is Apple’s best iPhone ever, and if we’re honest it’s one of their most innovative devices yet. It has an incredible camera, is water-resistant and boasts a stunning bright new display. Of course it can’t escape the rumours surrounding next year’s device but if you’re looking to buy a smartphone right now, and Apple are on your radar, this is the phone for you.
  • Google Pixel
    The Huffington Post UK
    This is Google’s iPhone. It’s that simple. As such there are achievements and compromises. If you’re after an incredibly well-built, powerful Android flagship, Google have given you a truly five-star smartphone. If you’re a photographer, the Pixel’s camera and cloud storage option make this a no brainer. It's not cheap though, with the XL costing over £800.
  • OnePlus 3T
    The Huffington Post UK
    The OnePlus 3T is simply a continuation of the ethos that makes OnePlus phones so good. It’s exceptionally well-built, powerful and offers you everything you could want in an affordable and meaningful package. No smartphone will give you more value for money.
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    Bloomberg via Getty Images
    With a new curved back and larger 5.5-inch display the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge is more about evolution than revolution. The S7 edge now sports a water-resistant body, embedded camera and a MicroSD card slot. The S7 edge is also Samsung's most powerful smartphone yet, so powerful in fact that Samsung have actually had to equip a tiny water-cooling system inside the phone. The good news though is that means you'll never have to worry about getting a warm hand.
  • Apple iPhone SE
    The Huffington Post UK
    Incredibly, Apple's familiar-looking iPhone SE manages to boast the same performance as its top-of-the-range iPhone 6s making it the most powerful 4-inch smartphone available. If you're keen to return to the days of one-handed texting then Apple's bite-sized iPhone is the smartphone for you.
  • LG G5
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    The LG G5 sets itself apart from rivals like the S7, Xperia XA and the iPhone 6s by being something utterly unique. The G5 is the first commercial 'modular' phone, allowing you to swap out the bottom for new accessories. So far there's an audio one made in partnership with Bang & Olufsen and a camera-focused attachment which gives you extra camera controls.
  • Huawei P9
    JACK TAYLOR via Getty Images
    The Huawei P9 is a smartphone designed for capturing life. Thanks to a partnership with photography legends Leica this dual-lens camera can take pictures that'll put your dedicated camera to shame. Of course it helps that the P9 is also a pretty great Android smartphone as well.
  • Google Nexus 5X
    The Nexus 5X strikes the ultimate balance between power and affordability. Taking over the responsibility from the frankly excellent Nexus 5, Google's new smartphone boast an ultra-light body but still crams in a fingerprint sensor, the latest version of Android marshmallow and a Full-HD display.