Facebook's WhatsApp "Business Plan"? Same old, same old


Nothing to see here. Just continue to provide data.

This week, Facebook finally provided some details on how it’s using WhatsApp to drive ad sales on its other platforms, Facebook and Instagram. From CNN:

“Businesses that use WhatsApp to communicate with customers and conduct transactions - a group considered key to the app’s future - have since 2017 been able to purchase ads on Facebook and Instagram that include a button allowing users to switch to WhatsApp and initiate a conversation with that business.”

Soon, the same businesses will be able to to “select an item from their catalogue and quickly turn it into a Facebook or Instagram ad with a button directing viewers back to their WhatsApp profile:”

Facebook's WhatsApp "Business Plan"? Same old, same old /img/how-facebook-makes-money-from-whatsapp.jpg

Facebook also said that…

“we’re making good progress … on our own solutions to help advertisers navigate these changes, and that includes helping advertisers work with the Apple API as well as our own approach to using aggregated data for targeting and measurement.

Here is what we really should [CONTINUE to] learn from this:

  1. The fact that Facebook “cannot read WhatsApp conversation” makes no difference, as of course NEVER did: this is stuff that exists only to make money by profiling you and above all your “friends”
  2. Here it goes one more business model built on a bubble that so far has never worked as advertised: “Still, it’s not clear how much of an impact it’s having… that’s going to take time until it’s become a more significant driver”, say experts quoted in the CNN piece
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