Enterprise Television: WhatsApp Button Now Introduced in Facebook ads
Facebook, who also owns WhatsApp, has figured out a new ways to monetizing the hugely popular messaging service, WhatsApp which has around 1 billion daily users.
Today, Facebook is launching a new ad unit that will let businesses create a link between the two platforms: advertisers can now include a button on their ads so that people can call or message via WhatsApp with the click of a button.
We reported early sightings of the feature in test mode earlier this year. Now, Facebook has confirmed to us that it’s rolling this out gradually, starting first with North and South America, Africa, Australia and most of Asia.
You might notice that Europe is not included in the list, and wonder if that might relate to news that Facebook last year had to pause efforts to share data between the two platforms when it was deemed to violate data protection laws.
From what we understand, the plan is to introduce Europe at a later date, but Facebook is going to first observe how the feature is used elsewhere, and is also still working through questions from outside the company about how WhatsApp and Facebook will work together.
The new feature getting announced today, more generally, follows on from some bigger developments for how WhatsApp is already being used by businesses.
Facebook tells us that more than 1 million Facebook Pages already include WhatsApp numbers in their posts each month, which implies that there is already a pipeline between the two companies being used by businesses more informally to connect with customers more directly.
In some developing markets, businesses are using their WhatsApp and Facebook pages as their primary points of contact for users, so this would make some sense to expand for Facebook, as the new White and Yellow Pages, respectively.
“Many people already use WhatsApp to communicate with small businesses. It’s a fast, convenient way to stay in touch,” said Pancham Gajjar, product marketing manager, Facebook, in a statement. “By adding a click-to-WhatsApp button to Facebook ads, businesses can now make it even easier for people to learn about their products, set up an appointment or use their service.”
The other trend to note here is that WhatsApp has been working on a way of creating more specific business accounts for some time now. Most recently, it’s posted some more information on its help pages about how business accounts will be verified, confirmed or unconfirmed — although it has yet to roll out any specific products or pricing tiers that speak to these three statuses.