The rise of social media networks in the last decade has gone hand in hand with the growth of direct messaging apps. In this video, you learn more about the biggest messaging platforms, WhatsApp and Messenger, which are both Facebook products. We'll look at how the tools work and how businesses can use them to connect with their customers. People are increasingly relying on messaging apps to easily chat, call, and share photos and videos with their loved ones around the world. Indeed, research firm eMarketer forecasts messaging app users worldwide will have reached 3.12 billion by the end of 2023. WhatsApp is a free messaging app that works both on mobile and desktop. WhatsApp lets you connect directly with people through chat messages and calls for free. In February 2020, WhatsApp announced that they have more than two billion users around the world, making it the most popular messaging app in the world. On WhatsApp, you can message your friends and family using your phones internet connection. You can avoid SMS fees or charges you may incur on your data plan when sending text messages. Similarly, you can also make free voice and video calls even to people in another country. You can also send photos and videos on WhatsApp instantly. With WhatsApp photos and videos send quickly, even if you're on a slow connection. WhatsApp also has a feature called status, which allows you to share text, photos, videos, and animated GIFs that disappear after 24 hours. In order to send and receive status updates to and from your contacts, both you and your contacts must have each other's phone numbers saved in your address book. Around the world, we see that people are increasingly relying on WhatsApp for a few simple things: chats, calling and sharing. There are more than one billion WhatsApp accounts active every day and two billion minutes of calls are made every day. There are 450 million WhatsApp accounts that are active on WhatsApp status every day. On WhatsApp, you can share messages, photos, and videos with one person or with a group of up to 256 people at once. Nine out of 10 of the message is send on WhatsApp are from one person to another and the majority of groups have fewer than 10 people. WhatsApp provides the intimacy of communicating one-on-one or with just a few friends, which is why privacy is a priority for the company. WhatsApp's commitments to user safety includes collecting as little data as possible. All a person needs is a phone number to get started. Each and every message delivered on WhatsApp is automatically encrypted end-to-end, so not even WhatsApp or Facebook can see its content. Another popular messaging app is Messenger, a chat platform that was developed as part of Facebook. In September 2017, Facebook announced that more than 1.3 billion people use messenger every month, which puts Messenger as the second largest messaging app in the world after WhatsApp. When you send a private message on Facebook, your message is sent on Messenger. The messaging app was originally developed as part of the social network, but it launched as Facebook chat in 2008. In 2011 however, Facebook separated its messaging functionality by creating stand-alone iOS and Android app and a website, messenger.com. In the United States, Messenger ranks as the second most popular iOS app of all-time behind Facebook. There are many different ways you can connect with people on Messenger. Here are just a few features. You can make calls to other people using messenger. You can create group chats, you can share photos and videos, you can send stickers, emojis, and GIFs. You can play games with your friends, or you can send maps and your location. You can also use the Messenger camera to create playful photos and videos. You can capture a moment, doodle, then send it to your friends and you can share the final piece to your Facebook stories. Another feature of Messenger camera you can use is the AR, or augmented reality filters. Add fun filters like bunny ears, or a disco background to make your photos and videos more playful for instance. If you're feeling creative, you can even create a filter of your own with Spark AR, Facebook's tool for building augmented reality effects. When you create and share a reality experience, it can reach anyone who's using Facebook. Similarly to WhatsApp, people use messenger mainly to chat, call, and share photos, and videos. In April 2019, Messenger reported that 20 billion messages were sent between people and businesses on Messenger each month and 410 million users video chatted on Messenger monthly with 40 percent year over year growth in the amount of time spent in video chat. Seventeen billion photos were shared in Messenger each month. In April 2020, Facebook also announced a new group video chat feature for messenger called Rooms. People who don't have Facebook accounts can just join an open Room with a link and up to 50 people can join. If you have the Messenger app, you can play with AI effects like bunny ears and features like Immersive 360 backgrounds and mood lighting, for instance. The growth of messaging apps is not only changing the way we communicate, but also the way that people want and expect to engage with businesses. Think of the simplicity of being able to message a business. You open up a message, you don't have to wait on the phone for a reply. You can come back to it. It's easy to use, it's effective, reliable, it's documented, and it's fast and fun. Actually, 61 percent of people would choose messaging a business over picking up the phone, and 59 percent of people would choose messaging a business over sending an E-mail. With these user expectations and preferences in mind, many businesses have established a presence on messaging platforms. Let's talk about how businesses can use WhatsApp and Messenger. In January of 2018, WhatsApp officially launched WhatsApp business, a free to download app available on Android and iPhone. WhatsApp business gives businesses access to tools to automate, sort, and quickly respond to messages while still keeping the apps main chat functionality. Businesses on WhatsApp can create a business profile with basic helpful information like address, business description, E-mail address, a website which allows people to find them. If your business has a presence on Facebook, you could also choose to use Messengers to stay connected with your customers. Messenger makes it easy to be responsive to customers, whether you want to manually manage conversations or set up a custom set of automated responses to help you manage your communication. Both Messenger and WhatsApp have features that can help businesses automate their messages and stay connected with their customers 24/7, even when they're offline. You can set to welcome messages, instant automated replies, or create quick replies. You can save and reuse messages you frequently sent so you can easily answer common questions in no time. You can also use these quick replies to send rich media messages such as Gibbs, images and videos. Messenger and WhatsApp also let businesses make it clear to customers when they're available to respond. You don't need to worry about questions that come in when there's no one available to answer them. On WhatsApp, businesses can use labels to help them organize their contacts or chats so they can easily find them again. This can help businesses organize customers based on how far down the purchase process the customers are. They can then take action to help customers along. For example, you may want to message existing customers that haven't purchased the product in a few months with a promotion or a coupon. Or you may want to send a thank you to customers that just purchased. You can use labels to help organize and segment your contacts, which will enable you to access them faster. Let's take a look at how Mexico based entrepreneurial mentor and coach Lizette Mondragon used WhatsApp business to increase her sales. Lizette established [inaudible] a coaching and mentoring program for other female entrepreneurs back in 2016. Interest in Lizette's services, including one-on-one and group coaching, mentoring sessions, online conferences and monthly challenges was growing. She needed a way to connect with more women with a consistent message. To do so, she began using the WhatsApp business app in March 2019. Lizette now connects with all 300 of her clients who are spread across 10 states in Mexico, the US, Colombia, Peru, and Spain via WhatsApp business app. The apps labels feature helps Lizette organize her diverse clientele by the services they want and a quick replies feature has boosted her efficiency in responding to frequently asked questions, from workshop invites two reminders and follows ups. The WhatsApp business app has helped Lizette connect with more women in business and strengthen their leadership. [inaudible] saw a 40 percent increase in new client contacts and a 10 percent increase in sales between March and December of 2019 as a result of its use of WhatsApp. Messenger and WhatsApp have become crucial tools for people to stay connected and they clearly offer interesting ways for businesses to stay connected to their customers. A presence on WhatsApp and Messenger is often a great way for businesses to round out their social media marketing approach and enrich it with more personal customer care. In our next video, we'll turn our attention to another social channel which routes in messaging, WeChat.