Missed 'Meta Conversations' on June 6th 2024? Here’s a Round-Up of the Event

Mohamed Elbadwihi
Last updated June 6, 2024
Missed 'Meta Conversations' on June 6th 2024? Here’s a Round-Up of the Event

Meta’s Conversations event just wrapped up, and it was packed with exciting announcements. The tech giant unveiled a range of new features and updates that promise to change how we interact online.

Meta Conversations

This year’s conference highlighted Meta’s commitment to improving user experience and providing businesses with better tools to connect with their audiences. In this article, we’ll explore the key updates from the conference and what they mean for the future of business messaging.

Key Updates

WhatsApp Voice calls

Voice calls are coming to WhatsApp Business Platform soon. It will be inbound (customers initiate the call), and soon after, businesses will be able to call their customers.

Status: Currently being tested with a few partners.

WhatsApp Group chats

Businesses will be able to create WhatsApp Groups and invite customers to join them.

Status: Not in testing yet.

WhatsApp Flows

Calendar picker and image components added to WhatsApp Flows.

Status: Released.

Meta Verified badge

Easier blue badge on WhatsApp Business App accounts for credibility.

Status: Launched today (June 6) in Brazil, India, Indonesia, Colombia, with more to come. WhatsApp Business Platform accounts will have the same soon.

Various AI enhancements

Experimental AI assistant for WhatsApp Business App, AI improvements to Click-to-WhatsApp Ads, Meta AI in various languages on your personal WhatsApp, and more.

Other highlights

  • WhatsApp Templates library
  • WhatsApp Payments (Brazil)
  • One-Tap Authentication

Key Update 1: WhatsApp Voice Calls

WhatsApp is launching Voice calls soon on WhatsApp Business Platform, allowing businesses to answer calls on WhatsApp.

Voice calls on WhatsApp Business.

Businesses will use templates to invite customers to call them and display a calling icon on their business profile. This feature is strictly for inbound calls at the moment. In the future, businesses will be able to call their customers (outbound), provided they have the customer’s permission.

Here’s how it will make a difference:

Sales use case

Voice calls are perfect for high-consideration purchases, such as in B2B software. Complex sales processes benefit from direct, live conversations. Using voice calls within WhatsApp instead of traditional phone calls makes the customer experience better, closing sales easier, and removes the need for other tools.

Customer support use case

Voice calls on WhatsApp will improve customer service, troubleshooting, and allow for quick and clear issue resolution.

Key Update 2: WhatsApp Group Chats

Businesses will soon be able to create group chats on WhatsApp with customers, allowing multiple users to interact with a business in a single conversation thread.

Who needs email and Slack? Keeping multiple stakeholders in the loop can now be done on WhatsApp.

Group chats on WhatsApp Business.

Group chats on WhatsApp Business.

WhatsApp is still in the early stages of exploring this functionality and more details will be shared as they become available. There is no clear release date from WhatsApp at this time.

Key Update 3: WhatsApp Flows

Months after its introduction, the WhatsApp Flows feature is expanding with new, convenient functionalities. New components like calendar pickers and media uploads will simplify appointment bookings, customer registration, and onboarding.

WhatsApp flows.

Have questions about the WhatsApp Business Platform?

Talk to our experts and learn how the WhatsApp Business Platform can improve your B2B sales.

Let’s chat on WhatsApp!

Key Update 4: Meta Verified badge

The new Verified blue badge will add credibility to businesses, similar to the blue badge on Facebook and Instagram. Verified businesses will receive priority support and other features like a searchable webpage profile on WhatsApp.

This is rolling out today for small businesses on the WhatsApp Business App in Brazil, India, Indonesia and Columbia with more to follow.

In the future, it will be made available to large businesses on the WhatsApp Business Platform.

Businesses that already have a green tick will automatically receive a Meta Verified blue badge instead.

Blue tick on a WhatsApp Business account.

WhatsApp Verified Channels were also announced, but we have no information as to whether this is tied to the Meta Verified status or not.

Key Update 5: Various AI announcements

Meta announced a few AI-related updates, although the exact scope and timelines for these features is so far unclear.

Experimental AI assistant for WhatsApp Business App
Small businesses will be able to set up AI agents to interact with customers, provide support, and facilitate commerce. These AIs will understand your products and services.

The feature is currently in a closed alpha phase, being tested with a small number of English-speaking businesses in India and Singapore, and will soon roll out to some Brazilian businesses.

Meta AI in various languages on WhatsApp (personal)
Meta AI (rolling out slowly on WhatsApp and other Meta apps) will be available in Portugeues next month, along with other languages.

In the future, Meta AI will not just be a single assistant, but multiple AIs serving different purposes.

Meta AI Nikila Srinivasan, VP Product Management at Meta

AI for creating Click-to-WhatsApp ads
Meta is testing new methods for businesses to use AI to create Click-to-Message (or Click-to-WhatsApp) ads. The details of this are not yet clear.

AI to improve message delivery
We’re not sure about how this works, but here’s an excerpt from the session:

“We use AI to identify which of those customers are most likely to engage with their message. This helps business deliver those messages in a more efficient and a more effective way. This means people will be getting more of their messages that they want from the businesses they actually want to hear from without having to sift through dozens of messages that just aren’t relevant to them.” - James Detmer, Director of Product at Meta.

We’ll update this once we learn more.

Other Highlights

WhatsApp Templates library

WhatsApp is introducing a WhatsApp Template library, accessible through the existing template creation flows via WhatsApp Manager. This library simplifies and speeds up creating templates for common uses. It will contain templates with fixed elements and variables that can be adapted to each business.

WahtsApp template library

WahtsApp template library

WhatsApp Payments

Payments for small businesses on WhatsApp

WhatsApp launched payments for small businesses in Brazil last year; a great success. This year, WhatsApp is launching support for PIX, Brazil’s most popular payment platform. It is managed by the BCB (Brazil Central Bank).

WhatsApp will be bringing payments on other, international payment methods, and eventually to the WhatsApp Business Platform. They did not provide any launch or release timelines.

One-Tap Authentication

WhatsApp Business Platform already supports sending OTP to your customers, so we’re not sure what improvement this brings. Here’s what WhatsApp said during the event. It might be a simple process improvement to the existing OTP features:

“A one-time password so that they can get a login code and quickly sign in with just one click tab. Or for your customers on an android device, no taps at all.”

Wrap Up

Meta’s June Conversations event brought exciting updates that will change how we, both people and businesses, connect online.

Two major updates stand out to me as having a large impact on businesses and consumers:

  • WhatsApp Voice calls
  • WhatsApp Group chats

WhatsApp Voice will eliminate the need for traditional phone calls, making it much easier for sales (or any) team to run all of their customer communications on WhatsApp.

Group Chats on WhatsApp Business Platform will likely be the death of email for WhatsApp-first regions. Keeping multiple people in one chat can now be done on WhatsApp. Businesses have been asking for this feature for years, and it’s finally here.

Everything else that Meta announced, such as the new improvements to WhatsApp Flows, Meta AI, payments, and more, are exciting, and we’re looking forward to seeing how these are adopted and used by businesses across the globe.

What’s Next?

The Rasayel team will be working hard to support features like Voice calls and Group chats as soon as they’re available to us. If you have more questions or are curious about how these can work for your business, drop us a message on WhatsApp.. We’d love to chat.

About the author
Mohamed Elbadwihi

Mohamed has a background in digital enterprise strategy and software engineering. When he’s not staring at his computer screen, he can be found staring at the night sky somewhere in Alberta, Canada. He enjoys reading, and writing about the things he reads.

@Mohamed Elbadwihi on LinkedIn