Meta Platforms, Facebook’s parent company, will soon roll out a premium service to small businesses, and it’s doubling down on a newer advertising format called “click-to-message,” which allows consumers to click on a company’s ad within Facebook or Instagram and directly start a conversation with that business on Messenger, Instagram or WhatsApp.
WhatsApp will be the “next chapter” in the company’s history, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently said in an interview. He noted that the company’s “playbook over time” has been to build services to serve a wide audience and “scale the monetization” after reaching that goal. “And we’ve done that with Facebook and Instagram. WhatsApp is really going to be the next chapter, with business messaging and commerce being a big thing there,” he said.
Meta bought WhatsApp in October 2014 for around $22 billion. It launched WhatsApp Business in 2018 with free, simple tools to help small businesses keep in touch with customers, offering a way for them to directly interact, search for products, and indicate purchasing interest.