Meta’s Focus on Business Messaging for Revenue Generation: Leveraging AI Bots and WhatsApp’s Success


Meta’s Focus on Business Messaging for Revenue Generation

During Meta’s Q3 2023 earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg emphasized the company’s commitment to using business messages as a revenue source. He mentioned their plan to leverage generative AI-based bots for customer support and other use cases.

This is the first time that Meta has shared the metric of over 600 million daily interactions between users and businesses across its platforms during an earnings call. However, it is unclear how many of these interactions are marketing or informational messages.

Zuckerberg specifically highlighted India, where more than 60% of WhatsApp users message a business app account. This market accounts for over 500 million users, making it the largest for the chat app. Many individual business owners in India also use WhatsApp Business accounts, which provide features such as business pages, product catalogs, and message broadcasting.

In Q3 2023, Meta’s revenue reached $293 million, showing a year-on-year growth of 53%, primarily driven by the success of the WhatsApp Business platform. In June, Meta announced that WhatsApp Business surpassed 200 million monthly active users.

To monetize business messaging, Meta offers different types of messages on WhatsApp and charges businesses based on conversation sessions. It also provides click-to-message and click-to-WhatsApp ads. These ad formats have already reached a $10 billion annual run rate and continue to grow, according to Zuckerberg.

Recently, WhatsApp introduced new tools targeting businesses, including custom personalized messages and WhatsApp Flows for enhanced in-app shopping experiences. In September, Meta unveiled plans for a verification system on WhatsApp with features like custom web pages and support for managing customer queries across up to 10 devices linked to one account.

Meta is also exploring the potential of generative AI in automating responses to purchase and support queries from customers. Zuckerberg believes that while some markets can afford manual customer service due to low labor costs, other markets can benefit from Meta’s Business AI bots.

The rise of generative AI models has led to the emergence of several AI-powered customer support startups attracting interest from investors and potential acquirers.

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