Despite having paid $22 billion for the platform, it was still unable to exploit it commercially.
The metaverse, at least in its early stage of development, is not a source of hard currency and requires constant investment. For this reason, Mark Zuckerberg is looking for formulas to finance his virtual adventure without causing bleeding.
The plan is for the profits to come from what is now, from its workhorses: WhatsApp and to a lesser extent, Messenger. These messaging services do not return any profit because they do not include advertisements and do not have a subscription plan.
This option would mean 180 degree turn in business strategy. The accounts in Meta are not closing, to the point that management has been forced to cut 13% of its workforce in a wave of historic layoffs.
In this scenario, Zuckerberg would have admitted in a meeting that the company has better opportunities to make money in the short term by investing in applications than have proven to be reliable.
“We talk a lot about long-term opportunities like the metaverse, but the reality is that business messaging will probably be the next big pillar of our business as we work to monetize more WhatsApp and Messenger”, the CEO of Meta would have said according to Reuters.
During this interview, he did not reveal great details about the strategy he has in mind, but he does currently, as he had already anticipated, working on a subscription for the business part of WhatsApp.
This will make it possible to add some differentiating options to boost the business of those companies that use WhatsAppBusiness. As it could already be verified in some betas of the application.
The paths to monetize could be in the commissions for transferring sums of money between contacts. But also, in advanced features only for paid subscribers, or by in-app purchase options.
WhatsApp, no profit
Eight years ago, Zuckerberg paid 22,000 million dollars by WhatsApp and has only managed to bill a little more than 10% of what it cost. While with Instagram the profitability was immediate.
To get WhatsApp and Messenger, which have 2 billion and 900 million users respectively, to start generating more revenue, their functions will need to be expanded. The goal is to get these apps to generate as much money as Facebook and Instagram.
Currently, Meta allows in some countries to carry out simple transactions within the messaging app. In Brazil, one of the large markets, a new payment tool was released last week through the messaging service.
“This seamless payment experience will be a game changer for people and businesses looking to buy and sell on WhatsApp without having to go to a website, open another app, or pay in person,” the company explained about this new service.
This is not something new, since different companies are betting on this subscription plan to add extra features. One of them is its great competitor such as Telegram Premium, and we can also see it with Twitter Blue that, among other things, will add the option to have the verified next to the username.