WhatsApp could soon charge businesses for more advanced features

Whatsapp Group Message on iPhone X
Whatsapp Group Message on iPhone X (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz/iMore)

What you need to know

  • WhatsApp is reportedly readying a new subscription offering for businesses.
  • WhatsApp Business users who pay will be able to link more devices to their account.
  • We don't yet know how much the subscription would cost or what other features could be included.

WhatsApp might soon offer a subscription plan for WhatsApp Business users, according to a new report. While optional, the subscription would unlock additional functionality that could be beneficial to a business using the instant messaging service.

While details on the new WhatsApp subscription are scarce, beta watchers WABetaInfo have noticed that a subscription plan is in the works. Such a plan would reportedly allow more devices to be linked to a specific business account, for example. Right now, businesses can sign up to four devices into the same account — the new WhatsApp Business subscription would increase that to ten.

The subscription plan is reserved for WhatsApp business accounts and offers additional features to businesses. For example, you know you can normally link up to 4 devices when using multi-device, but if you subscribe to their new plan, you will be able to link up to 10 devices. This is very good news for business accounts and it's only one of the first features offered by the future subscription plan to business accounts. More additional services will be announced in the future.

WhatsApp also appears to be revamping the Linked Devices setup screen in preparation for the new subscription, although timelines for when it would be available are unclear. We also don't know pricing, either.

It's important to note that individual WhatsApp users won't be impacted by this change and those businesses who don't need the additional functionality won't have to pay, either. The new subscription will be optional.

WhatsApp is one of the best iPhone apps for small businesses that want to keep in contact with their customers and while the increase in linked devices might not be a game-changer for many, we don't yet know what other features could be offered in the future.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.