Meta bets on WhatsApp Business to resurrect its monetisation dreams

Meta bets on WhatsApp Business to resurrect its monetisation dreams

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Soumya Gupta

28 reads
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Pratik Bhakta

174 reads
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Soumya Gupta

28 reads
author-image

Pratik Bhakta

174 reads

After WhatsApp’s payments play struggled to get going, Meta is betting on WhatsApp Business to give it renewed purpose. While it has the tech and reach, transforming a messaging app into a commerce platform requires WhatsApp to walk a tightrope between community building and spamming.

October 31, 2022

11 MINS READ

WhatsApp’s 12 years in India can be divided into two distinct eras.

The first, a period of rapid adoption as a messaging application which saw WhatsApp build a 400 million-strong user base—its largest market globally.

The second era stands in stark contrast to the success of the first—WhatsApp’s meandering search for a way to monetise its massive user base. First through ads, a la Instagram. Then, payments and even financial services. In WhatsApp Business—the business-focused counterpart of the ubiquitous messaging app—this search could finally be at an end.

With around 15 million active micro business users and a host of open APIs, WhatsApp Business could be the final jigsaw piece that allows WhatsApp to become an Indian super app, much like WeChat is in China.

Since its India launch, WhatsApp’s business accounts have quickly become a way for brands to reach out to existing customers with information and promotions, order invoices and boarding passes, confirm loans and investments, and much more. And now, the platform is preparing to power commercial transactions, too.

Only rolled out four years ago in India, WhatsApp Business’ deep partnership with Reliance Retail has given it a massive platform to showcase its tech capabilities. In fact, after Reliance Retail head Isha Ambani demonstrated the commerce experience on WhatsApp, multiple other brands were keen to explore similar integrations.

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