Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp, announced a significant milestone today as WhatsApp Business, its application tailored for small businesses, surpassed 200 million monthly active users.

This noteworthy achievement marks a substantial increase from the 50 million users recorded in 2020. As Meta remains focused on its “year of efficiency” strategy, it has introduced new features aimed at enhancing the user experience for WhatsApp Business, including simplified ad creation and a personalised messaging service.

Recognising the need to offset the substantial investment in developing a metaverse, Meta is intensifying its efforts to generate revenue through alternate channels such as WhatsApp. In line with this objective, WhatsApp Business users will now have the ability to create “click-to-WhatsApp” ads without requiring a Facebook account.

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This new feature enables sellers to conveniently create, purchase, and publish ads for Facebook and Instagram directly within the WhatsApp Business app.

During Meta’s Q3 earnings call last year, Mark Zuckerberg revealed that “click-to-WhatsApp” ads had surpassed an impressive annual revenue run rate of $1.5 billion, exhibiting a remarkable 80 per cent year-on-year growth.

Building upon this success, WhatsApp Business is introducing an additional paid feature that automates the process of sending personalised messages to customers. While specific pricing details were not disclosed, WhatsApp plans to commence testing this feature in the near future.

Demonstrated screenshots shared by the company illustrate that businesses will have the ability to send distinct messages to different customer segments. For example, a seller can transmit a unique discount code to new customers, complete with a convenient purchase button.

In recent months, Meta has taken substantial steps towards augmenting revenue through paid messaging services. In February, the company announced adjustments to the pricing structure and messaging categories on WhatsApp. These categories encompass utility, authentication (for one-time passcodes), marketing, and user-initiated service conversations.

These strategic initiatives reflect Meta’s ongoing commitment to enhancing the WhatsApp Business platform and driving increased monetisation opportunities.