Meta has announced some new options to help brands utilize its messaging tools, including improved ad creation on WhatsApp, the merging of WhatApp messages into the Meta Business Suite inbox and quote requests on Instagram.
First off, on WhatsApp - improving the WhatsApp ad creation flow, businesses will soon be able to create and launch their campaigns in the WhatsApp Business App, instead of having to switch apps to complete them.
The current process requires various app switches to activate a campaign, which can be annoying, especially given that you can create and launch campaigns in most other business dashboards. Soon, that middle element will be cleared, helping to streamline the WhatsApp promotion process.
Meta’s also looking to further its grand messaging unification progress, with the merging of WhatsApp messages into your inbox in Meta Business Suite.
That will make it easier to manage your business messaging interactions, while also helping you scale your contact points, so you can offer more ways for people to get in touch via the platform of their choice.
Eventually, all of your various Meta inboxes (Messenger, WhatsApp, IG Direct) will be integrated into one, so you can carry on your private discussions in any app you choose. Meta has delayed that process till 2023 at least, so that it can address regulatory concerns about the expansion of messaging encryption, but this new integration is another small element in that larger push.
Meta’s also testing a new capability that would enable businesses to send promotional message campaigns via Messenger to customers who opt in.
“For example, a customer may opt in to receiving notifications about upcoming sales, allowing businesses to keep customers in the loop about future sales. SMBs have long told us that Meta Business Suite enables them to respond more efficiently to customer inquiries, but they’ve often relied on other solutions for customer reengagement. With this feature, SMBs will have a new tool to drive sales and customer loyalty in Meta Business Suite.”
On another front, Meta’s also adding ‘Lead Filtering’ on Facebook, which will enable business managers to filter out low quality leads by providing prospective customers with a multiple choice question within their Lead Ad Instant forms.
Meta’s also giving brands more content options within Instant forms, including images and downloadable PDFs.
And finally, over on Instagram, Meta will now enable businesses to elicit quotes from prospective customers via a questionnaire that will be displayed before starting a conversation.
“Currently testing with select businesses, this free product allows businesses to put a "Get Quote" button on their Instagram profile and use "Get Quote" stickers in Stories. With this button or Stories sticker, businesses can set up custom questions to ask customers prior to starting a conversation.”
Messaging is still a difficult element for Meta to crack, on the revenue front at least. Despite billions of people using its messaging platforms every day, inserting ads, Meta’s most reliable business model, is not an option, and as such, Meta’s still trying to establish the best models, with WhatsApp, in particular, offering huge potential if it can get it right.
Meta had hoped to follow the lead of China’s big messaging platforms, which have become essential connection tools for many elements of everyday life for Chinese users, but Western audiences haven’t warmed to messaging in the same way. Yet, WhatsApp is a critical tool in many emerging markets, and there is still opportunity for Meta to convert it into a business platform as well, which is what new updates like these ideally work towards.
It seems like a ripe opportunity - the capacity to reach new markets through expanded messaging exposure, which could help drive new business.
It’s not an essential consideration yet, but it is worth exploring which messaging apps your target audience uses, and whether you’re accessible via the platforms that they’re on.