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Editors' pick: Originally published March 10.

When trying to value Facebook (FB) - Get Meta Platforms Inc. Class A Report, which now sports a $400 billion market cap and trades for 25 times this year's consensus EPS estimate, arguably the biggest wild card is what kind of valuations are granted to Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. They're the world's most popular messaging apps, claiming over a billion monthly active users (MAUs) apiece and collectively handling over 60 billion daily messages as of last April. And they're very sparsely monetized for now.

One thing is clear, however, given the evolution of Facebook's core app and Instagram over the last few years: Facebook is quite good at using its talent and data to monetize its platforms on a large scale, once it gets serious about doing so. That, along with the new features and services being rolled out for Messenger and WhatsApp, provides ample reason to think the apps can turn into major top-line contributors in the future.

Newly-public Snap Inc. (SNAP) - Get Snap, Inc. Class A Reportcan't be thrilled about these moves, especially since some of them directly take aim at the service that appears to be responsible for a majority of its ad sales.

On Thursday, Facebook announced Messenger Day, a Snapchat Stories clone that was being tested in some foreign markets since last fall, is now rolling out globally within Messenger's iOS and Android apps. Like Snapchat Stories and Instagram Stories, photos and videos shared to a Day feed disappear after 24 hours.

And on Wednesday afternoon, Reuters reported WhatsApp is "testing a system that would let businesses talk directly to WhatsApp users for the first time." The feature, made possible by terms-of-use changes enacted last August, gives WhatsApp a chance to monetize its app by charging businesses to engage users with whom they're already in contact with. Reuters adds WhatsApp is "working carefully to avoid problems with spam messages."

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Facebook Messenger has been experimenting with a similar feature, as well as with "Sponsored" messages that come with attached photos and appear on the Messenger app's home page. Facebook also sells ads on its main news feed that let users contact businesses via Messenger.

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The Messenger Day rollout shortly follows the launch of WhatsApp Status, a fully-encrypted Snapchat Stories clone meant for WhatsApp's 1.2 billion-plus MAUs. And about six weeks after Facebook began a test in Ireland for a Stories feature built into its core app; in time, it could be a popular tool for both regular Facebook users and the many brands and celebrities on the social network. Instagram Stories, which launched last August, claimed over 150 million daily active users (DAUs) as of January and now supports ads and live video streams.

Facebook trumpets Messenger Day's integration with the revamped camera feature rolled out for Messenger in December. The camera, like the ones used by Snapchat and Instagram, make it easy to add things like text, drawings and goofy "selfie lenses" and masks to a photo or video. Facebook has been experimenting with adding similar abilities to its core app's camera feature.

Though a clone in many ways, Messenger Day's social features do let it stand out a bit. Users can share a Day feed with all of their Facebook "friends," or hand-pick which ones are allowed or excluded. Photos/videos a user has shared in private conversations can be easily added to a feed, and one can access a user's feed while messaging him or her. And users can add text featuring either pre-made or custom "calls to action" for friends -- for example, "Let's get a drink" or "Let's go for a run."

The disappearing nature of the content in Facebook's various Snapchat Stories clones, together with the controls Facebook is providing at times over who sees the material, points to a recognition that Facebook can't address the decline in "personal" content sharing on its core news feed simply by changing the feed's algorithm or launching a live-streaming service. With many users having several hundred or more "friends," there's a lot of pressure to be careful about what content is shared through the news feed and (unless one chooses to delete later) permanently attached to a profile page, as well as about how one responds to the material shared by others.

New services that complement the core news feed -- ones where content-sharing is more private and/or ephemeral -- are needed to deal with the sharing decline. And Facebook's messaging apps certainly have a large role to play in this effort. It's worth noting here that Facebook is also testing a "dislike" button (along with other "reactions") for private Messenger conversations, something it has been averse to providing for news feed posts.

As usage swells for the Stories clones, it's not hard to see how Facebook can aggressively monetize them. Full-screen video ads attached to Snapchat Stories were a big reason Snap produced $406 million in revenue last year, and (according to reports) is aiming for over a billion in revenue this year. Instagram recently began selling Stories video ads, and it might just be a better of time before Messenger Day and WhatsApp Status feature ads as well.

The launch of such ad solutions, which could leverage both Facebook's advanced targeting and measurement abilities as well as its support for running ad campaigns across multiple platforms, are bound to be a thorn in Snap's side. Meanwhile, the huge user bases claimed by Facebook's services, is likely to add to the pressure Snapchat Stories' traffic is already facing on account of Instagram Stories. This pressure could intensify further if Facebook starts letting users share content to multiple Stories clones at once, something that wouldn't be hard to pull off.

Snap's current $28.7 billion valuation suggests it's worth $181 for each of the 158 million DAUs it had at the end of 2016. While it would be unrealistic to grant Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp similar per-user valuations, especially since their user bases skew far more towards emerging markets, and Snap's present valuation is questionable, it's worth noting that even at just $30 per MAU, Messenger and WhatsApp would collectively be worth at least $66 billion, or 16.5% of Facebook's current market cap.

Such numbers, along with the fact that Messenger and WhatsApp are still producing very little revenue for Facebook, are worth keeping in mind when looking at the company's earnings multiples. After backing out a reasonable valuation for Facebook's messaging platforms, its multiples come down meaningfully.