Facebook-owned Whatsapp is considering allowing businesses to use its platform to contact users in a move that could open up new marketing channels to retailers.

The decision would introduce functionality already being tested by Facebook Messenger to WhatsApp, which Facebook purchased for $22bn (£14.1bn) in order to reach new users.

Facebook chief financial officer David Wehner told a conference in Boston that business-to-consumer messaging has “good business potential for us” and there are opportunities to bring it to WhatsApp, reports Bloomberg.

Facebook revealed its ‘Businesses for Messenger’ initiative at its F8 conference in March, where it outlined plans to let businesses use Messenger to communicate with users for customer service enquiries.

The social network is also exploring introducing interactions that marketers would need to pay to use.

However, it is likely WhatsApp will tread carefully with any business-to-consumer functionality it introduces because the app’s founders have been critical of incorporating adverts onto the platform.