When discussing the impact the WhatsApp purchase by Facebook will have on the bulk text marketers, it is vital to remember that customers do not overly care which technology delivers their messages, as long as they are delivered.
Cross platform mobile app
The WhatsApp website describes the app as..."a cross-platform mobile messaging app, which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. Because WhatsApp Messenger uses the same internet data plan that you use for email and web browsing, there is no cost to message and stay in touch with your friends." WhatsApp is initially free to download and thereafter charges $0.99 fee per annum.
The latter six words in its description are the key...it is all about "staying in touch with your friends." The opportunities available to the business world and marketers are not yet clear, but what is evident is that WhatsApp has clearly committed to "no ads, no games, no gimmicks" since its inception.
Therefore, the text messaging/SMS messaging channel is set to remain a popular, effective and lucrative way for marketers to connect with and grow their customer base. Marketers are solely interested in a low cost, well-supported, reliable business messaging service, not the technology used to send and receive their messages.
It's worth noting, the magnitude of the WhatsApp acquisition highlights what we already know, that messaging is the most important thing people do on their mobile devices and it will continue to grow, evolve and increase ROI.
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