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Meta’s WhatsApp to launch new business AI tools

Women's Tabloid News Desk
Women's Tabloid News Desk

In an attempt to extract money from the well-liked messaging service, Meta launched its first AI-driven ad targeting program for businesses on WhatsApp, the company revealed on Thursday at a conference in Brazil.

A video showing the new features was unveiled by CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the event. With this revelation, WhatsApp, an encrypted messaging app that prides itself on its privacy credentials and has historically shied away from the kinds of targeted advertising techniques that support Meta’s other programs, like Facebook and Instagram, is taking a different approach.

For a number of years, the social media behemoth has been rolling out payment and commerce services on the app. These features include “business messaging” facilities that allow businesses to communicate with customers and send promotional materials to those who have given their phone numbers to them.

Before, all users who had agreed to receive company outreach were sent blasts using those blunt instruments. If the customers use the same opted-in phone number across accounts, the new AI technologies will use their behavior on Facebook and Instagram to target the messages to those customers most likely to be receptive to them.

According to Reuters, Guilherme Horn, WhatsApp’s head of strategic markets, these AI technologies will allow companies to optimize the delivery of ads to users who are most likely to interact with them. “This is very important for business because they are paying for those messages.”

With WhatsApp being its largest app in terms of daily users, Meta has been stepping up its efforts to make money off of it. Even with the service’s enormous $22 billion acquisition price tag in 2014 and its widespread use, it has only made up a small portion of Meta’s overall revenue to far.

A new AI chatbot that can respond to business questions in-chat was also unveiled by Meta during the conference. This is an early test of Zuckerberg’s plan to persuade companies to outsource their interactions to automated systems.

Like other AI-powered customer care platforms, the chatbot will help consumers with routine tasks like locating catalogs or checking business hours.

It also declared that it will be integrating Brazil’s instantaneous digital payment system, PIX, into its WhatsApp payment tool in the nation. PIX was previously seen to be a possible rival.

The central bank-designed PIX system accounted for almost 39% of all transactions in Brazil in the previous year. It provides features akin to WhatsApp’s payments facility, including the ability to transfer money between individuals and make purchases from businesses.

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