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Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp, has announced that its WhatsApp Business app, tailored for small businesses, has surpassed 200 million monthly active users, a significant increase from 50 million in 2020. As part of its “year of efficiency” initiative, the company has introduced features aimed at enhancing user experience, including simplified ad creation and a personalized messaging service for WhatsApp Business users.

With Mark Zuckerberg’s substantial investments in developing the metaverse, Meta is expanding its revenue streams beyond that realm and focusing on maximizing potential from platforms like WhatsApp.

In a recent update, WhatsApp Business now enables users to create “click-to-WhatsApp” ads without the need for a Facebook account. This advancement allows sellers to generate, purchase, and publish ads for Facebook and Instagram directly within the app.

During Meta’s Q3 earnings call last year, Zuckerberg revealed that “click-to-WhatsApp” ads surpassed an annual revenue run rate of $1.5 billion, experiencing an impressive 80% year-on-year growth.

Moreover, WhatsApp Business has introduced another paid feature that streamlines the process of sending personalized messages to customers. The pricing details have not been disclosed, but WhatsApp plans to commence testing of this feature in the near future.

Screenshots shared by the company indicate that businesses can now send distinct messages to various customer lists. For example, a seller could send a unique discount code with a purchase button to new customers.

Meta has actively pursued avenues to increase revenue from paid messaging, resulting in notable progress over the past few months. In February, the company announced changes to WhatsApp’s pricing structure and messaging categories, such as utility, authentication, marketing, and user-initiated service conversations.

During the Q1 2023 earnings call, Zuckerberg reported that click-to-message ads had reached a $10 billion revenue run rate, and the number of businesses utilizing WhatsApp’s paid messaging services had grown by 40% quarter-over-quarter.

Although revenue specifically attributed to WhatsApp is not currently separated, Meta has witnessed strong messaging revenue growth on the WhatsApp Business platform. However, this growth was offset by a decline in other revenue categories, resulting in a 5% year-over-year decrease in the overall category.

WhatsApp has also made strides in bolstering its payments business. In Brazil, the platform introduced the ability for users to pay merchants, and this functionality was subsequently launched in Singapore. Additionally, WhatsApp recently unveiled the channels feature, facilitating broadcast conversations for different organizations. The company has expressed its interest in integrating payments into channels in the future.