WhatsApp Group Video, Voice Calling Rolled Out for All Android, iPhone Users

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Facebook has launched a new WhatsApp Business API created to help businesses communicate with consumers via the Facebook-owned WhatsApp messaging app.

A WhatsApp Business ads in Facebook's News Feed.

The messages will be charged at a fixed rate for confirmed delivery, ranging from 0.5 cents to 9 cents per message depending on the country, WhatsApp said. Tardy responses by businesses will incur costs.

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"Facebook Ads that click to WhatsApp help people discover your business, help you engage with them to explain your product or service and grow a relationship", the social network's team said. The monetization plans are similar to what Facebook has done with Instagram's Stories feature, in that the ads displayed on WhatsApp's status feature "will be powered by Facebook's advertising system", the Journal noted.

The new features are available for both Android and iOS users but they must first download the latest version via the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

"Businesses will pay to send certain messages so they are selective and your chats don't get cluttered".

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The time has finally come for Facebook to start making money off WhatsApp.

"Group calls are always end-to-end encrypted, and we've designed calling to work reliably around the world in different network conditions", said the company is a statement.

WhatsApp said the API will help manage communications with existing and potential customers at scale.

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Sentiment was also dented by the downcast outlook for Facebook, which signaled it expects slower user growth, partly due to the effect of data privacy scandals.