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Meta's WhatsApp Unveils New AI Tools for Businesses

Meta launches AI-driven ad targeting program for businesses on WhatsApp. New AI tools use behavior on Facebook and Instagram to target messages. WhatsApp introduces AI chatbot for business inquiries.

The announcement was made by CEO Mark Zuckerberg during a conference in Brazil. This is a notable shift for WhatsApp, which has always highlighted its privacy credentials while avoiding targeted advertising technologies employed by Meta's other platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

WhatsApp had previously included commerce and payment services, such as "business messaging" solutions for customer service and marketing communications. However, the usefulness of these technologies was restricted because they sent generic messages to all opted-in individuals. The new AI capabilities will assess user behaviour on Facebook and Instagram to send messages to customers who are most likely to engage, as long as they use the same opted-in phone number across accounts.

WhatsApp's head of strategic markets, Guilherme Horn, highlighted that these AI techniques will enable businesses to tailor ad distribution to the most receptive users. This is especially essential for corporations, because they pay for these ads. Meta has been making steps to monetize WhatsApp, its most popular programme in terms of daily users. Despite its popularity and a $22 billion acquisition price in 2014, WhatsApp accounts for only a small fraction of Meta's total revenue.

During the conference, Meta also demonstrated an AI chatbot that can answer business requests directly in chat. This is part of Zuckerberg's plan to persuade businesses to outsource their communications to automated systems. Similar to existing AI-powered customer support platforms, the chatbot will assist consumers with typical requests such as catalogue search and business hours check.

Meta also announced the inclusion of PIX, Brazil's instantaneous digital payment mechanism, into its WhatsApp payment service in the country. PIX, designed by the central bank, accounted for nearly 39% of all transactions in Brazil last year. It provides comparable features as WhatsApp payments, including as money transfers between individuals and purchases from businesses. This connection underscores Meta's commitment to growing its payment services on WhatsApp.

In a similar move, WhatsApp began selling payment services from competitor providers in India last year, strengthening its position as a versatile platform for both communication and financial transactions.

  • Meta launches AI-driven ad targeting program for businesses on WhatsApp

  • New AI tools use behavior on Facebook and Instagram to target messages

  • WhatsApp introduces AI chatbot for business inquiries


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