WhatsApp Business surpasses 200 million MAUs and introduces personalized messaging

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Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp, has announced that WhatsApp Business has reached 200 million monthly active users (MAUs), a significant increase from 50 million in 2020. As part of Meta’s “year of efficiency” initiative, WhatsApp Business has introduced new features, including easier ad creation and a personalized message service for users.

WhatsApp Business users can now create “click-to-WhatsApp” ads directly within the app, without needing a Facebook account. Sellers can create, purchase, and publish ads for Facebook and Instagram from within the WhatsApp Business app. The “click-to-WhatsApp” ads have been generating significant revenue, surpassing an annual run rate of $1.5 billion with 80% year-on-year growth.

In addition, WhatsApp Business is introducing a paid feature that enables merchants to automate the process of sending personalized messages to their customers. The feature allows businesses to send different messages to different customer lists, such as sending a discount code with a purchase button to new customers. WhatsApp plans to start testing the feature soon but has not disclosed pricing details.

Meta has been focused on increasing revenue through paid messaging on WhatsApp. They made changes to the pricing structure and messaging categories in February, including categories for utility, authentication, marketing, and user-initiated service conversations. During the Q1 2023 earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, mentioned that click-to-message ads reached a $10 billion revenue run rate, and the number of businesses using paid messaging on WhatsApp grew by 40% quarter-over-quarter.

While Meta does not disclose separate revenue for WhatsApp, it is included in the “other” category. The WhatsApp Business platform saw strong growth in messaging revenue in the first quarter of 2023. However, it was offset by a decline in other line items, resulting in a 5% dip for the category year-over-year.

WhatsApp has also been expanding its payments business by introducing payment functionality in countries like Brazil and Singapore. The recent launch of the channels feature enables broadcast conversations, and Meta is exploring ways to integrate payments into channels as well.

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