WhatsApp has said that it will take legal action against those engaged in automated or bulk messaging or non-personal use.
The company might sue those individuals or businesses that it deems have engaged in or assisting others in abusing its terms and conditions. In particular, it will target services that offer automated or bulk messaging, WhatsApp said in a statement. The company said it would even use off-platform signals such as advertisements for such services to initiate legal action, if any is required.
“Our products are not intended for bulk or automated messaging, both of which have always been a violation of our Terms of Service,” the statement said.
Like with most chat apps, WhatsApp was originally built to help people message their friends and loved ones. Soon after Facebook acquired WhatsApp, the company launched the WhatsApp Business app and API for companies to manage customer interactions.
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The idea behind a separate platform for businesses was to reinforce the private nature of the platform and keep users safe from abuse.
“We’re aware that some companies attempt to evade our machine learning systems, even as we work tirelessly to improve them. Using the on-platform information available within WhatsApp we’ve found and stopped millions of abusive accounts from operating on our service,” the statement added.
Reach Of WhatsApp Business In India
WhatsApp had launched WhatsApp Business in 2018 for Android phone users to allow companies to connect with customers, and for users to chat with businesses. In April 2019, the messaging platform made the app available on iPhones.
In India, many small entrepreneurs have been using the platform to scale up their businesses. According to a WhatsApp survey, 77% of Indian SMEs have said that the platform has helped them connect with their customers from across the country. The platform helps them save the cost for digital marketing.
62% of the WhatsApp Business users agreed that the platform has helped them to increase sales and has become an essential part of their business. In fact, WhatsApp’s Indian unit, Whatsapp Application Services Private Limited, reported a revenue of INR 6.84 Cr in its first year of operations.
According to WhatsApp, over 5 Mn businesses in the world are using WhatsApp Business app every month.