As the metaverse goes regular, Zuckerberg now wants WhatsApp and Messenger to contribute to Meta’s revenue

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Mark Zuckerberg continues to believe that the metaverse will become the next evolution of social networks where users will spend much of our time interacting, learning, having fun and playing. However, this ambitious project needs technologies that do not yet exist and, in case its arrival becomes a success, will be profitable in the long run.

The bet on the metaverse is huge. Meta has dedicated around 20% of its budget to cement it, however, as Zuckerberg has acknowledged, we will have to wait years until this division stops throwing numbers in the red. The company’s lifeline to continue growing in these difficult times seems to be in two of its most mature apps: WhatsApp and Messenger.

Zuckerberg will bet on commercial messaging

Messenger and WhatsApp, despite having more than 900 and 2,000 million users respectively, have little relevance to Meta balances, but this could change soon. After the historic layoff of 11,000 workers, Zuckerberg met with part of his work team and described the aforementioned applications as “the next big pillar of our business”, according to Reuters.

As we’ve seen, Meta’s economic muscle has long come from its ad business powered by ads on the Facebook and Instagram websites and mobile apps. Although the income from this area decreased by 4% in the third quarter of 2022 they translated into 27,237 million dollars, an impressive amount and difficult to reach by other divisions.

So how does Meta’s CEO intend to remove WhatsApp and Messenger from a modest place on the company’s balance sheets? The answer, according to comments seen by Reuters, is by monetizing them.. Zuckerberg does not provide details on the exact strategy to achieve this, but assures that they are already working to achieve this ambitious goal.

Goal

According to Business of Apps, WhatsApp Business would have produced income of 790 million dollars in all of 2021. This is an approximation because since that year the company has broken down its financial results into two groups. Family of Applications (FoA), which includes Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, and Reality Labs (RL), which includes its augmented and virtual reality business.

It remains to be seen, then, what changes Zuckerberg has in mind to increase revenue from Messenger and WhatsApp. In the case of the latter, the company is working to turn the application into a kind of “superapp”. In some countries it already offers a complete shopping experience, it allows you to buy Metro tickets and even pay directly from the app with WhatsApp Pay.

Another feature on the way is a paid subscription with advanced features for business customers. These already have to pay after exceeding a limit of messages sent, but soon they will have to subscribe to WhatsApp Premium, access personalized links and have more connected devices. We do not yet know the price of the subscription.

The mentioned functions are available in large markets, but in few countries. If Goal decides expand them to other regions this could help increase your revenue. For now, we have to wait to see how this strategy will evolve, but it is clear that, for now, WhatsApp and Messenger will contribute more to the company’s revenues than the promoted metaverse.

Meta and Twitter have another problem, apart from the obvious ones: the motivation of their workers

It should be noted that, although there is no scandal that knocks down Zuckerberg and has great power within the company, Meta must please his board of directors and to its shareholders. How? Growing and earning money in each quarter, objectives that the metaverse, among other factors, is making quite difficult. We are not facing a company like Twitter whose full control and responsibility falls on its owner, Elon Musk.

Images: Alessio Jacona | WhatsApp | Mariia Shalabaieva

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Mark Zuckerberg continues to believe that the metaverse will become the next evolution of social networks where users will spend…

Mark Zuckerberg continues to believe that the metaverse will become the next evolution of social networks where users will spend…

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