Deprecation of WhatsApp

Deprecation of WhatsApp

David Pichsenmeister

Lately I reflected a bit about our strategy and where are we heading at with oratio. Our long term goal is to build a platform for messenger-first businesses - combining everything they need to run their business - customer service, marketing automation, payment, eCommerce, ... - on one single platform.

If we want to succeed in the long run, we have to give up on short term opportunities - especially if these opportunities don't align with our roadmap. For WhatsApp this is exactly the case. We put a lot of effort into making this platform accessible, rather than building something upon it. On the other hand we are missing opportunities by not focusing on networks where we are already trusted partners, like Messenger or Viber. We are a small team and our resources are very limited, thus better invested in building our platform than building an infrastructure for accessing one single network - never knowing when or if we are forced to shut it down at some point.

Our solution was meant to be a workaround to bridge the gap until WhatsApp releases an official API. Currently, I don't see that coming any time soon. Therefore I strongly think we should shut down this service.

What does it mean in terms of monetization?

Currently around 3% of MRR is coming from customers who DON'T have a WhatsApp account connected at all and another ~30% of our customers have at least on other network connected next to WhatsApp.

In terms of MRR this is a big step back, but I'm optimistic it will pay off in the long run. I hope we can keep most of our customers and help them focusing on other networks, by providing info material on how they can better leverage these networks than they ever could do with WhatsApp.

(suggested) roadmap

  • Disable the possibility to create new WhatsApp accounts by end of April
  • Inform existing WhatsApp customers that the service is now deprecated and that we are going to close all accounts by end of July (~ 3 months from now)
  • Prepare info material and help existing customers to switch their customer base to other networks, e.g. Messenger or Viber