Internal reaches a peak of frustration, Mark Zuckerberg takes the ‘last piece’, restarting the forgotten ‘machine’ of money

Tram Ho

Anxiety is taking over Facebook. This makes the largest social network on the planet turn to WhatsApp as a new money-making tool, in the context of Mark Zuckerberg’s constant criticism for rickety growth prospects, according to Business Insider.

Facebook, which last year changed its name to Meta, acquired WhatsApp in 2014 for $22 billion. At the time, this valuation was considered too large for a simple and free messaging app, even if its users had grown to 400 million in 5 years. According to BI, this is the most valuable acquisition Meta has ever made, but so far has not contributed much to the group’s revenue.

It is known that the messaging feature on Facebook’s applications brought in a relatively small amount of 218 million USD in the third quarter, mainly thanks to WhatsApp. The $27.7 billion Meta recorded from July to September this year was largely driven by digital advertising. This is down 4% from the same period last year, but fortunately, still a bit higher than experts’ expectations.

Due to slowing user and revenue growth, Mark Zuckerberg suddenly turned to exploit the profit potential that had been neglected by Meta for a long time – WhatsApp – even expecting it to turn into a “super app”. app” like China’s WeChat.

“It was a really big challenge,” Matt Idema, Meta’s vice president of business messaging, told Insider. “How do you grow your business based on this out-of-the-box messaging product?”.

The answer lies in the strategy of “business messaging” – where companies can use WhatsApp to chat, advertise and serve customers through messaging. “Many customers have been chatting with businesses right on WhatsApp during the pandemic. This has strengthened the popularity and monetization of the app. At some point, we reached the pinnacle of internal frustration,” said Matt Idema.

Nội bộ đạt đến đỉnh điểm của sự thất vọng, Mark Zuckerberg đi ‘quân cờ cuối’, tái khởi động ‘cỗ máy’ kiếm tiền bị bỏ quên - Ảnh 1.

With Meta, promoting the business building of the WeChat app has become a “must do”.

At the moment, WhatsApp makes money mainly from advertisers who want to send users messages that encourage messaging. This is different from a few years ago – when WhatsApp also tested a few features but stopped shortly after.

Facebook has been looking to monetize WhatsApp since its acquisition, according to former employees. This effort is being relaunched aggressively, even as an “urgent” mission to grow revenue.

“It’s pretty late now,” said one former employee, adding that WhatsApp should have had a fully integrated payments feature years ago. “It could have made a lot of money.”

In a meeting room at Menlo Park headquarters, Idema did not deny that perhaps WhatsApp has taken too long to become an important part of the Meta financial picture. He said pushing to build the app’s business has become a “must do”.

It is known that Idema joined Facebook in 2011, working closely with Sheryl Sandberg, former COO, Andrew Bosworth, Chief Technology Officer and David Fischer, former Chief Revenue Officer.

“We tried really hard and everything worked out. That was great,” Idema recalls her first years with the company. “At that time, no one hated us.”

By April 2017, Idema was appointed as the Chief Operating Officer of WhatsApp. “At that time, WhatsApp was a platform serving 1 billion users but not thinking about the business model,” he said.

A year after Mr. Idemi joined, Brian Acton and Jan Koum, the two co-founders of WhatsApp, left respectively. They oppose the way WhatsApp makes money and the move to trade user privacy of the parent company Facebook.

According to BI, advertising is something that Acton and Koum don’t want WhatsApp to focus on. This application previously promised users that it would never advertise, even if it was acquired by Facebook.

Therefore, instead of traditional advertising, WhatsApp exploits user behavior in the application, such as small companies in international markets messaging with customers or operating businesses. India, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico are typical large markets.

Nội bộ đạt đến đỉnh điểm của sự thất vọng, Mark Zuckerberg đi ‘quân cờ cuối’, tái khởi động ‘cỗ máy’ kiếm tiền bị bỏ quên - Ảnh 2.

The largest social network on the planet turns to WhatsApp as a new money-making tool.

In addition, WhatsApp also aims to attract large enterprise customers based in North America who are willing to spend money on customer service features, most notably GM.

Since last year, GM has used WhatsApp for a campaign in Brazil, through Facebook and Instagram to direct potential customers to message car dealers. The brand then sold 3,000 vehicles per month.

“It’s time to combine WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram Messenger and treat them as a single messaging strategy,” added Mr. Idema.

According to Ajit Varma, WhatsApp Product Manager, one of the app’s top priorities is to scale up as quickly as possible. Meta representative said, every week, more than 1 billion people send messages related to the business field, so the potential for development is very positive. Mr. Idema did not share specific growth goals, but affirmed that in the next 3 years, WhatsApp will have more features.

Previously, Meta also publicly supported WhatsApp through a first conference dedicated to messaging. Zuckerberg is a speaker, encourages businesses to use the WhatsApp API, and is committed to promoting WhatsApp to become a more secure messaging platform than iMessage. Everyone then expected new features that would turn WhatsApp into a super app like China’s WeChat.

“There are many things about WeChat that we can learn from,” Mr. Idema said.

According to the share, WhatsApp wants “every company in the world” to work with it, from car manufacturers to airlines. The app therefore needed a professional payment tool, but currently, on WhatsApp, payments are mostly limited to individuals.

By: BI, Bloomberg

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Source : Genk