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Meta Previews Business Messaging Updates at ‘Conversations’ Conference

Meta is hosting its third annual Conversations conference in Sao Paulo today, where it’s announced a range of new messaging tools to make it easier for businesses to connect with customers via chat.

Which is important, because over the past few years, more and more interactions have shifted to messaging apps, as people step back from public social platform posting. Content consumption in social apps remains high, but messaging offers a more direct, intimate means to connect, and maximize community, in addition to broader brand promotions.

Here’s what Meta’s announced at the event:

AI support for business on WhatsApp

Maximizing the business opportunities of WhatsApp has been a key focus for Meta, and with WhatsApp usage climbing in the U.S., the platform now offers more opportunity in more markets to facilitate brand connection.

To help with this, Meta’s testing a new A.I. support tool on WhatsApp, which is designed to better enable small businesses to respond to customers, create ads, and more.

Meta Conversations 2024

As you can see in this example, the new WhatsApp A.I. assistant tool will be able to provide answers to customer queries in-stream, while it’ll also be able to provide direct assistance when creating Facebook or Instagram ads that trigger a WhatsApp chat.

Meta Conversations 2024

Meta’s also testing a new process that’ll enable businesses to get expanded A.I. assistance when utilizing functions of Ads Manager, providing more value through A.I. tools.

Messaging ad optimization

Meta’s also adding a new element that will enable businesses to upload their subscriber list, which Meta’s A.I. system will then scan through in order to identify the right contacts on WhatsApp to send follow up messages to, based on campaign goals.

Meta Conversations 2024

The system will be able to target users based on conversion or brand awareness focus, then use the information that Meta has on your customers to maximize response.

Conversions API for business messaging

Meta’s also expanding its Conversions API to support messaging events, which will provide another way for brands monitor performance trends generated by ads that click to message.

“Conversions API previously supported web, app, and offline events, and it is now expanding to support messaging events across Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. For Business Messaging, this also enables our new purchase optimization, which offers advertisers the ability to drive more sales and reduce costs by reaching customers most likely to purchase.”

That’ll give you more data insights to optimize your messaging campaigns.

Expanding Meta Verified

Meta’s also making its Meta Verified subscription offering available to businesses using WhatsApp in Brazil, India, Indonesia and Colombia.

“Eligible businesses that are interested in becoming Meta Verified and pass our verification checks will get a verified badge, impersonation protection, account support, a verified channel and premium features, including a custom WhatsApp page that’s easily discoverable via a web search and enhanced multi-device support so multiple employees can respond to customers to provide better service.

In addition to this, Meta has announced that businesses which currently have a green WhatsApp verified badge will soon get a blue one instead, in order to maintain consistency across Meta’s products.

Meta also recently added new price tiers to its Meta Verified for Business offering, which provides more options for those looking to enhance their in-app display, and get improved account support.

Meta hasn’t shared any data on Meta Verified take-up, but it continues to add more elements, and looks to have around 3 million paying subscribers, both personal and business accounts, signed-up to the program.

Custom Promotional Messages

Meta’s also rolling out a new option that will enable WhatsApp Business app users in some markets to send personalized marketing messages to their customers.

“Rather than having to manually send the same message to multiple customers, this optional, paid feature allows businesses to reach a larger audience with a personal message that includes their customer’s name and customizable call to action buttons.”

Meta Conversations 2024

So it’s much like an email marketing tool that enables you to add in a name, though with more personalization elements based on Meta’s account info.

Updated message templates for businesses

WhatsApp’s also adding a new message template library in the WhatsApp Business platform, making it easier for more businesses to use WhatsApp for payment notifications, delivery reminders, etc.

WhatsApp business templates

Business Calling in WhatsApp Business

Finally, Meta’s also testing the ability for people to call businesses using the WhatsApp Business Platform with a quick tap.

“When a customer has complicated travel requests or wants to discuss opening a new account with your bank, a quick call can be the best way to get help. We just started testing this feature and will expand it to more businesses in the coming months. In the future, we’ll also offer businesses the ability to call customers directly once they’ve given permission.

Research shows that younger audiences are not overly welcoming of phone calls, preferring messaging instead, but as Meta notes, there are some instances where direct communication is preferred, and this will facilitate that added connection.

Some interesting experiments, which could help more brands lean into the messaging shift, and provide more ways to utilize Meta’s messaging tools.

You can read more about Meta’s latest messaging updates here.

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