Monday, February 26, 2024
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Ever Wondered How Apps Like WhatsApp and Google Maps Earn Money?


By Vrinda Singh

There are few obvious things which should make us curious, but because it gives us some form of fulfilment, we get lost and don’t enquire.

While an average person, on one hand,  has five social media accounts and spends 1 hour 40 minutes everyday browsing these networks, on the other hand, the same average person doesn’t know how these apps and websites make money.

Probably if you’d know, you would want to be the owner of one of them.

Here we tell you, how most of the widely used apps make money as you spend 5.6 hours on the internet in a day.


Facebook is one of the most dominating apps in the world with more than 126 million unique users on an average. Your Facebook timeline begins only with the installation of the app, which fetches the company around $3.40 per install. That alone means, Facebook generated $4 billion last year just from installs.

Also, with every post you share, the company earns money.

Furthermore, social media earns more money from advertisers than the users like you and I. Along with big advertisers, anyone can buy the space on the site if they have cash. Advertisers pay for sponsored stories, sidebar ads, promoted posts, etc.

Not only that, Facebook has other virtual property and gifts through which it earns money. In addition, the company is also working on a Micropayments system.



The free services of Whatsapp often ignite the curiosity as to how the company earns its revenue. The system is very complicated and various business models have been estimated with no guaranteed proof.

However, WhatsApp has installation charges in some countries and in other few, the download is free but the subsequent year costs $1.

It is also said that WhatsApp earns its revenue by selling its emoticons to other apps.



This app is actually the image world and has its value worth almost double of Twitter. There are various sources through which Snapchat earns its revenue.

Firstly, Snapchat has GeoFilters covering various locations and smaller areas which can also be purchased by users and are used by business as a promotional activity. GeoFilters features images when the user is in the vicinity of a certain location.

Secondly, sponsored lenses or filters which are added or changed daily also form a part of the revenue that is earned by the company.

To add more, through the Discover feature of the app, the company earns huge revenue from media partners and other brands/celebs/pages.



This Indian startup has expanded to 23 countries and doing extremely well. Zomato’s earning system is very simple and straightforward. It has multiple ways adding to the revenue, increasing at a considerable rate. After all, food gives a win-win situation.

The company’s advertising being very specific, on every search of keywords, the ads of the restaurants are shown which fetches them money.

Consulting services for the new and upcoming businesses is also a source of income for the company. This is not widely known, but the company is too generous in helping startups with queries, needs of the users, etc.

Zomato events are also one thing that helps the company raise ample money by partnering with restaurants and creating exclusive events.

The very direct source being, online ordering, unlike Swiggy. Zomato does not have its own delivery system but charges commission on every order placed to the restaurant.


Google has never seized to dominate the market since 1998.

Targeted advertising by taking fees from businesses to have ads placed on the search engine, videos, map through Google AdWords program.

Subtle suggestive selling also generates income for Google Maps. The individual businesses that are highlighted on each street on the Map, is paid for. Different business types – such as hotels, restaurants, banks, bars and retail outlets – have different symbols to make them easier to identify. Google also allows businesses to use their logo instead of the generalized symbols and thus, fees is charged.

The feature of customizing the map also provides for the primary income stream.



Not many people know about it, but two apps are being simultaneously used while the trips are coordinated at Ola. One is by the cab booking consumer and the other is used by the driver called the User App and the Driver App.

Ola’s revenue model is predictable, especially the Percentage Commission and Ola Money Wallet.

Car type and Peak time charges are added revenues for the company.

Ola also has Event or Corporate tie-ups, as organizing or sponsoring functions.

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Winternship Partners:
Love Matters India is an online platform that provides blush-free information and news about sexuality and sexual health for 18 to 30-year-olds in India. They are the first bilingual (English and Hindi) sexual health website in India with open, honest and non-judgmental attitude towards all topics related to love, sex, relationships and everything in between. Don’t forget to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
SheThePeople is a video story telling space that inspires women, strengthens their efforts, exchanges leadership ideas, fosters networking and reinforces their ability to contribute to growth. Through their special videos on SheThePeople.TV they are presenting the modern Indian woman a platform to discuss and share the challenges faced by this up-tapped leadership community. Don’t forget to follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Twitter brings you closer to what you care about. Get on an exclusive chat with Twitter’s Aneesh Madani through ED. Follow him @aneeshmadani.
The Harvard US India Initiative aims to empower the youth and promote awareness about India’s most pressing issues. Don’t forget to follow them on Facebook. 
Social Samosa is the only online publication reporting trends, insights and breaking stories on social media marketing.



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