In today's ExchangeWire news digest: the Middle East's ad market is set to become the fastest-growing in the world; Microsoft is expected to reveal how it plans to integrate AI into its products and services at a special event; and WhatsApp launches in-chat payments for businesses in India.
Middle East on track to becoming the world’s fastest-growing market
The Middle East could be the world’s fastest-growing market by 2025. Research has indicated that the regional market, valued at USD$5.9bn (~£4.7bn) in 2022, will grow by 10% in 2023 and a further 6.2% in 2024. The Saudi Arabian market, meanwhile, is set to reach USD$2bn (~£1.6bn) by the end of the year.
Microsoft to outline AI vision at special event
A leaked memo has revealed that Microsoft will reveal “it’s vision for what’s ahead" for the company’s use of AI. The internal note has suggested the tech giant will also detail how AI will be integrated into Windows, Surface, Microsoft 365 services, and more at a special event today (21st September).
WhatsApp launches in-chat payments for Indian businesses
WhatsApp users in India will now be able to pay for products and services through chats in the app. Companies will not be charged to receive in-app payments, with parent company Meta stating that the goal is to "make it more convenient for customers to pay right within a chat, which will help [businesses] close more sales”. The additional feature comes as Meta seeks to generate more revenue from its biggest market for the instant-messaging app.
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Fact of the Day
USD$6.9bn (~£5.5bn) – the forecast value of the Middle East's advertising market by 2024.