Meta has announced that its app designed for small businesses, WhatsApp Business, has reached an impressive milestone of 200 million monthly active users, a significant increase from 50 million in 2020.
As part of its ongoing “year of efficiency” initiative, the company has unveiled new features, including streamlined ad creation and a personalized messaging service for WhatsApp Business users.
To support its investment in developing a metaverse, Meta is focusing on expanding revenue streams beyond WhatsApp.
Today, WhatsApp Business users can create “click-to-WhatsApp” ads directly from the app, eliminating the need for a Facebook account. This new capability enables sellers to effortlessly create, purchase, and publish ads on Facebook and Instagram.
During Meta’s Q3 earnings call last year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that “click-to-WhatsApp” ads had surpassed an annual revenue run rate of $1.5 billion, with an 80% year-on-year growth.
Furthermore, WhatsApp Business is introducing a new paid feature that enables merchants to automate personalized messages to their customers. Although pricing details have not been shared yet, WhatsApp plans to commence testing this feature soon.
Businesses will have the ability to send distinct messages to various customer lists. For instance, a seller could send a discount code with a purchase button exclusively to new customers.
Meta has been actively working on increasing revenue from paid messaging services in recent months. In February, the company announced changes to WhatsApp’s pricing structure and messaging categories, which encompass utility, authentication (for one-time passcodes), marketing, and user-initiated service conversations.
During the Q1 2023 earnings call, Zuckerberg stated, “I shared last quarter that click-to-message ads reached a $10 billion revenue run rate. And since then, the number of businesses using our other business messaging service—paid messaging on WhatsApp—has grown by 40% quarter-over-quarter.”
Presently, WhatsApp’s revenue is combined with the “other” category and not separately disclosed. Meta reported strong growth in messaging revenue for the WhatsApp Business platform in the quarter ending in March.
However, this growth was offset by a decline in other line items, resulting in a 5% decrease for the overall category year-over-year.
WhatsApp has also been actively developing its payments business within the platform. In Brazil, the company introduced the ability for users to pay merchants, and a similar functionality was launched in Singapore a month later.
Recently, WhatsApp launched the channels feature, facilitating broadcast conversations from different organizations. The company also expressed its exploration of integrating payments into channels.