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Meta’s Nikila Srinivasan on the future of telecom

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In Short:

Meta’s WhatsApp plans to combat spam messages and unsolicited communication from businesses using artificial intelligence tools. The company’s vice president of business messaging emphasized the importance of privacy and explicit user permission for businesses to reach out. The use of Meta’s business messaging services has seen significant growth globally, with plans to launch a calling feature and AI assistant for businesses in India and Singapore.

Meta’s WhatsApp is set to utilize artificial intelligence tools to combat the rise in spam messages and unsolicited communication from businesses, according to Nikila Srinivasan, the company’s vice president of business messaging.

Srinivasan emphasized the importance of privacy and reliability on the platform, stating that businesses must obtain explicit permission before contacting users. She shared these insights with a group of reporters ahead of Meta’s flagship event Conversations, scheduled to begin in Brazil on Thursday.

Business Messaging Growth

Business messaging, especially on WhatsApp, has experienced significant growth, particularly in countries like India. Globally, over 200 million small businesses are utilizing Meta’s business messaging services, generating a “multi-billion-dollar annual run-rate” for the company. The number of conversations between users and businesses has doubled in India over the past year, with transit and transportation providers like Bengaluru, Delhi, and Chennai Metro, as well as the Delhi Transport Corporation, successfully implementing these tools for users.

Srinivasan highlighted key sectors with high adoption rates, including banking, finance, healthcare, automobile, retail fashion, and beauty.

Upcoming Features

Meta also plans to introduce a calling feature for business messaging, allowing users to communicate directly with human representatives for more complex transactions. Additionally, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of an AI assistant feature for business messaging in India and Singapore, initially targeting a select number of English-language businesses.

Meta stated in a press release that their new optimized delivery tools will assist businesses in leveraging AI systems to deliver targeted messages on WhatsApp.

Key features:

  • Meta introducing calling feature for business messaging
  • Focusing on combating spam messages with AI tools
  • AI assistant feature rolling out for select businesses in India and Singapore
  • Significant increase in conversations between users and businesses
  • Over 200 million small businesses utilizing Meta’s business messaging services

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