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Meta Announces Planned Integration of WhatsApp into its Workplace Platform

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Meta Announces Planned Integration of WhatsApp into its Workplace Platform


Meta’s looking to help businesses maintain connection with staff, many of whom are now working remote, by adding a new WhatsApp integration into its Workplace platform, which will enable companies to share posts from Workplace over WhatsApp.

As you can see in this example, the integration will provide another way to share internal updates from Workplace, which could help to streamline messaging, while also facilitating more engagement and interaction between remote employees.

Meta says that the update is specifically focussed on better connecting frontline workers, who are feeling increasingly detached from management as a result of the pandemic.

According to ‘Deskless Not Voiceless: The 2021 Frontline Barometer’, which examined the views of 7,000 frontline workers and 1,350 C-suite executives in 7 countries, only 55% of frontline workers surveyed feel connected to their company HQ. And many more of those respondents (75%) don’t completely trust their organizations to be transparent about company news and updates.”

This is one of the key challenges of remote working – when you’re no longer able to be around your colleagues day-to-day, it’s harder to get a sense of where the organization is headed, and any potential strategic shifts or changes that may impact your position. By enabling staff to connect via the secure interaction on WhatsApp, that could enable more direct, personal connection, and help employees speak more freely about their concerns, alleviating undue stress.

It also provides another avenue for sharing key updates and news, improving information flow. And given WhatsApp is the most used messaging app in the world, it’s a logical way to expand communication.

And as noted by TechCrunch, it also expands the usage potential of WhatsApp, which Meta is continually working to further integrate into more interactive elements, with a view to making it a more essential connective app.

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Workplace now has more than 7 million paid subscribers, and with more and more organizations moving to flexible working arrangements, it presents an ideal vehicle, in many cases, for facilitating remote work. Because Workplace is built on the same framework as Facebook, most people are already familiar with the interface and options, which reduces required training time, a key impediment to remote staffing.

Adding WhatApp into this mix provides even more options, and while the integration is not live as yet, Meta’s planning to roll out the new option soon, as part of the next major Workplace platform update.



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Instagram Tests Out New Ad Options, Including Explore Placement and Interactive AR Displays

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Instagram Tests Out New Ad Options, Including Explore Placement and Interactive AR Displays

As we head into the holiday shopping push, Instagram has announced that it’s testing out some new ad options, in the hopes of maximizing its revenue intake, while also providing new opportunities for brands.

Though I can’t imagine that these will be entirely popular additions with users.

First off, Instagram’s adding new ads into Explore, with the first page of Explore now set to feature a new ad unit in the content feed.

As you can see in this example, that’s a pretty big ad. Instagram hasn’t clarified if all of these new Explore ads will be featured as prominently as this, but the option will provide another means to reach IG users ‘in the earliest stages of discovering new content they care about’.

It could be a good consideration, with a chance to get your products featured in the main discovery feed in the app.

Instagram’s also testing ads in profile feed – ‘which is the feed experience that people can scroll through after visiting another account’s profile and tapping on a post’.

So now, if you check out someone’s profile, and tap on a post, you’ll also be eligible to be served ads in that dedicated stream of their content, essentially inserting ads into another surface in the app.

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Instagram’s also looking into whether this option could also be used as a monetization opportunity for creators, as that activity will be tied back to an individual profile and content.

Instagram’s also testing what it’s calling ‘Multi-Advertiser Ads’, which will display more promotions from similar businesses to users after they’ve engaged with an ad.

Instagram ad updates

As per Instagram:

“When a person expresses commercial intent by engaging with an ad, we deliver more ads from other businesses that may be of interest, powered by machine learning.”

So Instagram’s looking to push even more related businesses at you, stacking ads upon ads. I don’t know how effective that will be, but in theory, it could get your brand in front of interested users based on previous ad engagement.

Finally, Instagram’s also launched an open beta of its AR Ads, which will be available in both feed and Stories in the app.

Instagram ads update

As you can see here, Instagram’s AR ads, built in its Spark AR platform, will invite users to interact with their ad content, which could also include positioning virtual furniture in their home, or test driving a car in the app.

Which Meta also says will help brands align with future engagement shifts:

“By giving businesses tools to create more personalized and immersive experiences today we’ll help them drive performance and prepare for the metaverse.”

I mean, AR and the metaverse, which is largely VR-based (going on the examples we’ve seen thus far) are not the same thing, but the creation of 3D objects will play a part in that next stage, and could help to advance your thinking on ad approaches.

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These are some interesting ad considerations, but they’ll also see a lot more promotions being squeezed into your Instagram feeds, which, as noted, likely won’t be welcomed by users.

But with parent company Meta under rising pressure, Instagram has to do its part. And while leaning into further Reels, and forcing in more ads, may not be a great play, long-term, the usage and engagement data will ultimately tell the tale.



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