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WhatsApp Business App Gets An AI Update


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Meta has introduced AI-powered features to the WhatsApp Business app, aiming to enhance how businesses interact with customers. This significant WhatsApp Business update was announced by Mark Zuckerberg during the Meta Conversations conference in Brazil. The new tools, leveraging WhatsApp Business Meta AI, are designed to help businesses create click-to-WhatsApp ads and generate responses to frequent customer queries.

Zuckerberg emphasized Meta’s vision of developing multiple AI agents tailored to serve different business needs. “Our vision is not just to build a single AI assistant, but also to enable lots of different AIs that can serve different purposes, including for businesses. Any business should be able to quickly stand up an agent that can talk to your customers, provide support, and facilitate commerce,” he said.

The AI features will enable WhatsApp Business users to create ads on Facebook and Instagram that initiate a WhatsApp chat with the business. Additionally, the WhatsApp Business Meta AI will assist in customer support by automatically responding to common queries about products or services. This feature is currently being tested with select merchants in India and Singapore, with plans to expand to Brazil soon.

Meta also highlighted that AI-generated messages will be clearly labeled so customers are aware they are not communicating with a human representative. Another feature involves targeting messages to specific customer segments rather than all subscribers. The AI in Ads Manager will suggest audiences that might be more receptive to certain updates.

WhatsApp’s existing business partners, including RelianceJio’s Inerakt, Tiger Global and Fidelity-backed Gupshup, and Peak XV and Shopify-backed Wati, already offer similar tools through their WhatsApp-based CRM solutions. However, Meta’s offering is unique because it provides these tools for free, targeting businesses that might not want to invest in additional software.

A joint report by Meta and Bain & Co. highlighted the significant potential for scaling conversational commerce with generative AI-powered assistants. The report noted that in markets like India, these tools could revolutionize consumer interactions, making them more multimodal, vernacular, and intuitive.

Meta’s strategy with these free tools is to drive revenue by increasing the volume of business-customer conversations on the WhatsApp Business platform. With these AI enhancements, Meta hopes to facilitate more effective and engaging interactions between businesses and their customers.

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