Facebook believes business-to-customer communication is a next step for WhatsApp. The social network announced on Monday that B2C communication was possible and, at least at some point, will probably be part of WhatsApp. Businesses could be charged for access to users and that'd give the app a new revenue source.
WhatsApp has a massive user base (800 million) but it doesn't make a whole lot of money. During the first half of 2014, WhatsApp reported $16 million in revenue and $232 million in losses. The app is losing a bunch of money but has enough users to become profitable.
B2C could be an interesting addition to WhatsApp but it's not clear how users would respond to businesses having easier access to them.
We think that enabling that B2C [business-to-consumer] messaging has good business potential for us. As we learn those things, I think there's going to be opportunities to bring some of those things to WhatsApp, but that's more longer term. - David Wehner, Chief Financial Officer, Facebook