Meta launches exciting new WhatsApp AI features: AI-image generation and Meta AI chat [+ how-tos] | April 2024

Meta launches exciting new WhatsApp AI features: AI-image generation and Meta AI chat [+ how-tos] | April 2024 blog

By Typie

WhatsApp marketing assistant

WhatsApp's much-loved app takes a leap into the future with new AI features – including image generation and helpful Meta AI chat. See how it works and how it will ease the lives of WhatsApp users.

WhatsApp, the world's most popular messaging app, owned by Meta, is taking big strides into the future of messaging with its launch of artificial intelligence (AI) features.


Right now, it's testing its first AI capabilities in India and South Africa. These will likely be rolled out globally in the near future.


In fact, the Meta AI chatbot has been in beta testing for select users from November 2023. This is a larger rollout.


A Meta spokesperson told TechCrunch: "Our generative AI-powered experiences are under development in varying phases, and we’re testing a range of them publicly in a limited capacity." 



The news was celebrated on X and beyond (but this is just the beginning)



The 2 main new functions enabled for private WhatsApp users in India and South Africa (in its test phase) by WhatsApp AI are:

  1. Generate AI images in WhatsApp chats 
  2. Chat with Meta AI



Animation showing Meta AI in search across Meta's appsMeta AI can help you out, directly in your apps, whether WhatsApp, Facebook, Messenger or Instagram – if available in your country (Source: Meta)



Here's everything you need to know about the new WhatsApp AI tools and how they can improve your WhatsApp experience.


What is WhatsApp AI?

WhatsApp AI, introduced by Meta, is artificial intelligence (AI), brought into the WhatsApp app. It uses cutting-edge technology to enrich user interactions through intelligent automation, personalized responses and smart image generation.


The new features are designed to enhance both the functionality and engagement of the app, making interactions not just more efficient but also more meaningful.


Mark Zuckerberg, Meta's CEO, has already highlighted the strategic importance of WhatsApp, stating it is the 'next chapter' for Meta and a potential cornerstone for business messaging.


This initiative marks a significant pivot towards making WhatsApp a comprehensive platform for both personal and business communications.


The benefits of Meta's WhatsApp AI

What are the benefits of WhatsApp AI for users?


Some may be sceptical about AI and wonder if it could diminish personal interactions.


But Meta's aim is to ease people's lives by giving them the help and info they need, straight away, in an app they love to use, without needing to switch apps. Here are some more reasons the arrival of AI in WhatsApp is a good thing:


  • No more fear of the blank chat bubble: let AI inspire you to write a message to friends and family – or, better, that school parents' group you need to inform about something.

  • Save time: when you want to ask a question, you don't have to leave WhatsApp. Meta AI brings it all there for you. And with text generation, you save time phrasing the base of your message, leaving more time to make it better and continue the conversation. 

  • Navigate WhatsApp more easily: ask Meta AI to find you something in WhatsApp that may usually take you quite a few taps to find.

  • Get creative (and have more fun): create images that don't exist yet, just for you and your friends. Make them smile, feel loved... it's up to you.

  • Perform common tasks: like set reminders and search for fun gifs.


How to use WhatsApp AI

Here, we cover the 2 key features: how to generate AI images in WhatsApp and how to chat with Meta AI.


They're both very simple and intuitive. Just follow these steps:


How to generate an AI image in WhatsApp

One of the most exciting introductions is the AI-powered image generation within WhatsApp. This feature allows users to create unique images directly in their conversations, adding a creative flair to chats, bringing a fun element into everyday conversations: 

  1. Open a chat: Choose a contact or group to send an AI-generated image.
  2. Access the feature: Click on the attachment icon (paperclip), and select 'AI Image' from the menu.
  3. Describe the image: Type in a description of the image you want to create, for example, "a futuristic cityscape at sunset."
  4. Create and send: Click 'Create', and after the image is generated, you can send it directly in your chat.


You can also simply chat with Meta AI and start a sentence with "Imagine..." to generate an image, as shown by India Today:



Flying pig image generated by Meta AI, India Today

There's no image that Meta AI can't dream up for you (Source: India Today)



See more from Meta: How to generate an AI image in a WhatsApp chat


How to chat with Meta AI (@AI is all you need to know)

Here's how to summon the powers of the Meta AI chatbot (powered by Meta's own LLaMA – more on this below):

  1. Initiate the AI chat: In any conversation, type "@AI" followed by your question or prompt
  2. Interact freely: Engage in a natural conversation. The AI can provide explanations, suggestions, and even carry on a friendly chat
  3. Ask questions: Ask for help with tasks like setting reminders, finding information, or translating languages directly in your WhatsApp chat



WhatsApp AI image generation, charles blog post

A glimpse at WhatsApp AI features in action, saving time and getting creative (Source: WhatsApp)



Meta AI includes options for shortcuts.

Type a forward slash and command, like /joke:, /imagine: or /story: and type your description after.

However, these aren’t really necessary since you can make the same requests in a conversational way, such as “tell me a story about depressed hamster who ran for mayor.”

How to use Meta's new AI chatbot that you can't avoid, Washington Post



What's the buzz on WhatsApp AI?

WhatsApp AI has been praised by several publications.


According to The Indian Express: "The integration of AI into WhatsApp is a game-changer, offering users a blend of convenience and innovation that enhances the overall user experience​​."



WhatsApp AI news in The Indian ExpressWhatsApp AI news announced in The Indian Express, April 16, 2024



The news in South Africa was announced by publications like MyBroadband, who focused on WhatsApp privacy.



WhatsApp AI news in South AfricaWhatsApp AI news in South Africa announced in MyBroadband, April 16, 2024



The U.S. edition of TechRadar also reported the news:



WhatsApp AI TechRadar newsTechRadar U.S. version reported on WhatsApp AI, April 15, 2024



We believe, though, that the inimitable tech publication, TechCrunch, was among the first to report the WhatsApp AI news, saying: "Meta has confirmed to TechCrunch that it is testing Meta AI, its large language model-powered chatbot, with WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger users in India and parts of Africa. The move signals how Meta plans to tap massive user bases across its various apps to scale its AI offerings."



WhatsApp AI news announced in TechCrunchTechCrunch chose a picture of Mark Zuckerberg to announce the WhatsApp AI news on April 12, 2024 




A note on WhatsApp AI privacy

As always, when AI is involved, there have been concerns about the privacy of their messages.


WhatsApp is a company that's very conscious of these concerns and famously goes to great lengths to ensure end-to-end encryption of messages and that data privacy remains central to the app. See WhatsApp's full privacy policy here.


WhatsApp's own FAQ page mentions that the new AI tools are built with privacy in mind, ensuring that all interactions are encrypted and secure.


This commitment to user privacy is crucial, especially when integrating advanced technologies like AI into widely used applications. 


The most important thing to know is that your personal messages with friends and family are off limits. AIs can read what is sent to them, but your personal messages remain end-to-end encrypted, so no one else, including Meta, can see them"About using AI on WhatsApp, WhatsApp




WhatsApp AI is powered by Meta LLaMA 

How does WhatsApp add AI to its app?


It's made possible thanks to Meta's LLaMA (Language Model Meta AI) tool.



Meta AI shown as a real Llama with Meta logo

Meta's LLaMA has nothing to do with the animal, but people online like to make the connection using (we assume) AI generated images (Source)



What is LLaMA?

LLaMA, or Language Model Meta AI, is a state-of-the-art language processing AI developed by Meta. It's designed to understand and generate human-like text, enabling more complex and nuanced interactions between users and AI on WhatsApp.


How does LLaMA enhance WhatsApp?

  • Enhanced Interaction: LLaMA improves the AI's ability to understand context and respond in conversations, making interactions smoother and more human-like.
  • Multilingual Support: With LLaMA, WhatsApp's AI can converse in multiple languages, providing a seamless experience for a global user base.
  • Personalized Responses: LLaMA can tailor responses based on the conversation's history, offering personalized interaction that goes beyond standard automated replies.


This integration not only showcases Meta's commitment to advancing AI technology but also enhances user engagement on WhatsApp by making interactions more intuitive and versatile.


With LLaMA, WhatsApp is set to redefine the standards of communication in messaging apps, offering users a more dynamic and responsive experience.


This is just the beginning: expect more AI in WhatsApp and other messaging apps

WhatsApp AI is setting a new standard for what users can expect from their messaging apps.


By seamlessly integrating AI, Meta is not only enhancing user experience but also paving the way for future innovations in communication technology.


Whether it's through creative image generation or smart conversations, WhatsApp AI is here to transform how we connect with others digitally.


It's still early days though.


We'll keep you updated on any new AI developments in the world of WhatsApp.


Ready to grasp the future with WhatsApp?

WhatsApp is about so much more than AI. It's about personal interactions, first-party data collection, excellent customer experiences and all-important customer retention and revenue generation.



WhatsApp marketing chat message, powered by charlesWhatsApp marketing keeps brands in touch with customers in the most personal, intuitive highly visible way – to open up a new, powerful revenue channel 


We're here to help you make the most of it, in a GDPR-compliant way and in one that doesn't disrupt your current operations (thanks to our advice and integrations).


With 5 years' experience in WhatsApp Business, providing leading consumer brands with our innovative WhatsApp marketing platform, we're a good place to get started. And now is the time, before your competitors do.


Book your demo to take a look around our platform and automation now.


FAQs about Meta WhatsApp AI

What is WhatsApp AI?

WhatsApp AI is the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) by Meta into the WhatsApp app. New AI features include Meta chat and the ability to generate images based on user descriptions directly within the app.

How can I create an AI-generated image in WhatsApp?

To create an AI-generated image in WhatsApp, simply open a chat, click on the attachment icon, select 'AI Image', describe the image you want to create, and click 'Create'. Once the image is generated, you can send it to your contacts.

See more here: How to generate an AI image within a WhatsApp chat


The same goes for business users. WhatsApp Business (both the app and the API) is constantly changing and improving – with richer features, better automation, segmentation and analytics, and a better user experience.

What can I do with Meta AI on WhatsApp?

Meta AI on WhatsApp allows you to interact with an AI in your chats for various purposes. You can ask questions, get help with tasks like setting reminders or translating phrases, and engage in conversations for entertainment or educational purposes. And you can generate images.

Is my privacy protected when using WhatsApp AI?

Yes, privacy is a cornerstone of WhatsApp AI. All interactions with AI on WhatsApp are encrypted, ensuring that your conversations remain private and secure. Meta has emphasized its commitment to maintaining the high privacy standards expected by WhatsApp users

WhatsApp says: "The most important thing to know is that your personal messages with friends and family are off limits. AIs can read what is sent to them, but your personal messages remain end-to-end encrypted, so no one else, including Meta, can see them."

See more: About using AI on WhatsApp

Are there any costs associated with using WhatsApp AI features?

Currently, WhatsApp AI features are available for free to users. WhatsApp aims to enhance user experience by offering these advanced AI capabilities without extra fees, although data charges may apply depending on your network provider.

Why is WhatsApp introducing AI features?

WhatsApp is introducing AI features to enhance user engagement and functionality within the app. The integration of AI aims to make interactions more efficient, personalized, and engaging, offering users innovative tools like AI-generated images and smart conversational capabilities. This move also aligns with Meta's broader strategy to stay at the forefront of technology innovation, ensuring that WhatsApp remains competitive and continues to meet the evolving needs of its global user base. By incorporating AI, WhatsApp can provide a richer, more interactive user experience, fostering greater connectivity and new forms of expression within the platform.

Are there any AI features for the WhatsApp Business app or the WhatsApp Business API?

Yes, AI features are also integrated into the WhatsApp Business app and the WhatsApp Business API, enhancing the functionality for businesses. These AI capabilities help businesses automate and personalize their communications with customers. Features include automated responses, chatbots for handling customer inquiries, and intelligent analytics tools to analyze customer interactions and behavior. This allows businesses to provide faster, more efficient customer service and tailored marketing, improving engagement and increasing customer satisfaction.


There will likely be more AI features added to the API as this technology. We will always keep you up to date.

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