In its most recent earnings call, Meta reiterated its push to monetize messaging, and enable businesses to tap into the growth of private messaging across its apps.
Over the years, social media behavior has shifted – where users once posted to the news feed or their public Stories, they’re now, increasingly switching to messaging instead, which Meta’s now looking to lean into with new products, like its recently launched ‘Channels’ broadcast chat element.
And this could be another way for it monetize that shift.
As you can see in this example, posted by Sachin Shah, Meta’s now testing out a new option that encourages business users to highlight relevant products in chats.
It’s not clear what the qualifiers are for this – whether it’s for group chats only, whether it’s only limited to business accounts. But as you can see in this prompt, some users are now being directly prompted to highlight their products in messaging discussions, as another means to promote their goods.
Tap on the ‘Sell products’ prompt are you’re taken through to a quick product listing creation process.
It’s essentially a simplified ad flow, though messaging-specific, which could be another way for brands to lean into the messaging shift, and for Meta to make this a more commonplace behavior, and a more accepted surface for such promotions.
Again, business messaging is one of the company’s key focus points right now. Meta says that click-to-messaging ads are one of its fastest-growing ad products, and as more users conduct more discussions in private chats, Meta’s very keen to find more ways to let brands into that discussion, and to change perceptions around how messaging can be used.
This is a tough egg to crack. Despite many efforts, Meta’s never been able to effectively monetize either Messenger or WhatsApp, though in the latter case, that is shifting, with more brands signing up to the WhatsApp Business Platform and using WhatsApp messaging for direct connection purposes.
It’s not a massive leap, then, to see those users going from informational queries to transactional ones, and additions like this are another step in that direction.
Expect to see many more messaging monetization experiments in the coming months.