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WhatsApp Leads the Way as Businesses Leverage Messaging Apps and AI for Personalized Engagement

A recent study from the cloud communications platform Infobip has revealed a profound transformation in how people and brands interact, driven by the rapid advancements in conversational customer experiences and generative Artificial Intelligence (AI).

WhatsApp remains the primary channel for brands to engage in conversational support, with businesses sending 90 percent of their support messages through the popular messaging app. However, the landscape is diversifying as brands start to leverage different chat apps in specific regions. Infobip has recorded significant increases in the usage of Messenger (541%), Viber (146%), and Line (284%) for business communication. Additionally, brands are increasingly adopting conversational AI to provide personalized customer service and support.

Infobip’s analysis of over 473 billion digital communications interactions on its platform in 2023 highlights the global business messaging trends. As consumers seek deeper connections with the brands they purchase from, conversational messaging channels are experiencing the fastest growth. In 2023, Infobip recorded a 137% increase in mobile app messages, a 73% rise in social media messages, and a 63% increase in chat app messages. Conversational experiences are now integrated throughout the customer journey, encompassing marketing, commerce, and support.

The two-way exchange of information is the foundation of conversational marketing, and brands are intensifying their efforts to meet customers on the channels they use for personal communication. The data shows a 29% increase in mobile app messaging for marketing in 2023 compared to 2022. WhatsApp remains the leading digital channel for conversational marketing, driven by new features that enable customers to complete purchases within a single chat window. Infobip also notes significant increases in other messaging apps, such as Telegram, Line, Viber, and Messenger.

Speaking on the research findings, Ivan Ostojić, the Chief Business Officer at Infobip, highlighted the rapid spread of conversational experiences across the globe as businesses integrate marketing, sales, and support use cases. He emphasized the emergence of interactive AI, which he expects to be widely adopted in customer service, marketing, and sales automation, as well as operational use cases like scheduling deliveries and managing payments.

The growth of conversational customer experiences is particularly evident in East Africa, where WhatsApp and Facebook are among the most popular social media platforms. Data from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) reveals that in the last quarter of 2023, 47.5% of Kenyans used Facebook, while 47.3% used WhatsApp. In the third quarter, WhatsApp held the top spot with a usage rate of 45.9%, closely followed by Facebook at 45.2%.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, the integration of conversational experiences and generative AI is transforming the way businesses interact with their customers, paving the way for more personalized, efficient, and engaging customer journeys.

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