Dan Levy, Vice President of Business Messaging, Meta

Meta struggles to turn the wheels on the reels. A recently leaked internal report revealed that Instagram reels get 10 times less engagement than his TikTok videos.

But Meta has had more success with business messaging, a priority Mark Zuckerberg highlighted during Meta’s second quarter earnings call in July.

Meta estimates that about 1 billion people a week communicate with their business or service accounts via WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram. Also, about 40% of Meta’s advertisers worldwide (over 4 million) use his Click-to-Message ads. This redirects people from Facebook and Instagram to his one of Meta’s messaging products to chat with businesses.

The company told investors last quarter that click-to-message advertising is a “billion dollar business” for Meta, with double-digit year-over-year growth.

Dan Levy, vice president of business messaging at Meta, said: He assumed the role in late 2018 after more than six years as Vice President of Small Business.

Messaging opportunities triple, says Levy. Businesses can use messaging to market to existing customers, manage user-initiated service requests, and complete functional tasks such as password resets.

“Our job is to create a product that makes all these use cases as easy as possible for everyone,” says Levy.

Levy spoke with AdExchanger.

AdExchanger: Why did you move from focusing on small business ad sales and ad products to focusing on messaging?

DAN LEVY: I’m betting my career on business messaging. The reason for this goes back to his trip to Southeast Asia around 2013-2014. There, I saw firsthand how companies are using advertising to drive people to their messaging products. That was how people communicated.

A company in Singapore literally had 30 smartphones velcroed to the wall to stay on top of customer messages. But it cannot scale.

Messaging engagements are personal interactions similar to how you interact with businesses in the real world. The challenge is figuring out how to extend and automate it while still maintaining a personal touch.

How would you describe Meta’s approach to business messaging?

Business goes where people are, so you have to build the right consumer experience first.

There is no doubt that we are already living in a messaging-first world. And now companies are adapting. For our part, click-to-message ads are going well and we recently launched a cloud API for WhatsApp to allow businesses to initiate conversations and message users directly, usually for marketing purposes. .

However, it also recently completed its acquisition of Kustomer. This is a broad investment in customer service tools that facilitate business messaging and CRM management.

Is there an idea here that advertising can be a utility?

Messaging in general is a utility. When I was in Europe this summer, the hotel didn’t even want me to call the front desk. I was able to handle everything.

We are seeing an evolution in consumer communication behavior. Communication is about threads.

What does “Communication is a thread” mean?

The way people communicate with businesses is becoming much like the way they communicate with friends and family.

However, this is more true outside the US. The United States is slightly behind. People in the U.S. don’t always realize that messages matter wherever they are in the world. Over 1 billion people use our messaging platform every week.

How many of those interactions have used chatbots, and how do you make sure the experience is good? I’ve done it before, but I end up having to call customer service and it’s frustrating.

Many questions can be answered simply by using automation, such as queries about store hours or order status. That’s how many companies use our products today. Automated systems can handle 50% to 70% of queries.

But if the conversation is more complex and worthwhile, it transitions to a living human at that point.

Anyway, having all these communications in one standard thread rather than using different systems for email, phone, or chat is powerful. The service experience should be built around people, not tickets or the type of technology you use to address them.

Are WhatsApp and Messenger better for business use than, say, Instagram Direct, or vice versa?

Businesses don’t have to think that far. Messages are optimized to be delivered by the message service that the user is most likely to respond to. Businesses also have a unified inbox so they can respond to any message in one place instead of jumping back and forth between apps.

What are you doing to drive messaging-first behavior in the US?

Facebook and Instagram have entry points that allow users to message businesses directly from their page. Of course, there are also ads that you click to display a message.

But there are also generational trends that we’ve been paying attention to. We surveyed young people who said they preferred texting to calling or emailing.

As such, we believe more companies will have to adapt to this behavior. Business must always go where people are.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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