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Facebook may let businesses contact customers through WhatsApp

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At this year's F8 conference, Facebook announced its new Businesses for Messenger initiative. As part of a grander plan to make Facebook Messenger a platform all of its own, the company said it would soon let Messenger users communicate directly with businesses and brands for customer service inquiries and the like. Now, it seems like Facebook is considering opening up the same functionality for its other massive chat network, WhatsApp. As reported by Bloomberg, Facebook CFO David Wehner said the company was looking into ways to bring the business-to-consumer communication model to WhatsApp.

"We think that enabling that [business to consumer] messaging has good business potential for us," Wehner said at the JPMorgan technology conference in Boston earlier today. "As we learn those things, I think there's going to be opportunities to bring some of those things to WhatsApp, but that's more longer-term than the near-term." Wehner's talk of this as a long-term initiative isn't entirely surprising — the Businesses for Messenger initiative that Facebook announced earlier this year is still only available for "select" companies in the US.