With over a billion people globally using WhatsApp, Facebook is beginning plans to monetize the chat application.

Facebook acquired the messaging service for $22 billion in 2014, 5 years after it was created by Jan Koum and Brian Acton. 

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, WhatsApp is planning to charge businesses that wish to connect with clients on the application.

It has started a pilot programme that would feature a green badge next to a business contact, indicating that the business was verified by the messaging service, the report stated.

whatsapp for business

“We do intend on charging businesses in the future,” Chief Operating Officer Matt Idema told the Journal in an interview.

“We don’t have the details of monetization figured out,” he added.

Facebook already shows ads in its Messenger app, but has yet to focus on WhatsApp.