Facebook-owned messaging giant WhatsApp has opened up the WhatsApp Business API for more businesses, which will allow companies to use the platform for reaching out to potential clients by replacing SMS text messages for updates.

Just like MakeMyTrip, you may get the confirmation message for a flight booking or a holiday booking through WhatsApp messages. Debuted on the MakeMyTrip platform, the WhatsApp Business API are now open for more businesses to use. After following a free model for years, Facebook has finally monetised the world’s biggest online messaging platform – WhatsApp, which means, the new Business API is paid version. It will let WhatsApp Business users reply to messages from customers for free up to 24 hours, but will then charge them country wise per message sent after that. Perhaps, this is the first time ever that WhatsApp will charge for any of its services.

Albeit the new API being paid, it is entirely possible that it can act as a very viable alternative to call centre services. So the next time book flight tickets online, you may get the confirmation message on WhatsApp. And if that flight is delayed, the airline could send you a WhatsApp message with the new timing. The coming of WhatsApp Business, however, will change things as the company will start generating revenue, thus paying off Facebook for its $19 billion buy-out which happened in 2014. Also, the WhatsApp Business API is a part of the company’s efforts to reinforce services on business platform.