POV: The New WhatsApp Status Launch

Slowly, consumers are moving away from brand’s mega-channels on big platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Many don’t find their mainstream content engaging or personal enough and are likely to follow their favorite companies on WhatsApp for a more personal approach. Now brands with a WhatsApp presence can access this consumer audience using the new Status feature.

WhatsApp, has rolled out a new platform named Status, which works like Snapchat and Instagram stories. It allows users to share photos and videos as a status update and to scroll through their contacts’ status updates. Just like Snapchat and Instagram, all content disappears after 24 hours. The new update further suggests that Facebook is anxious about Snapchat’s continued growth and with 158 million daily Snapchat users, it’s easy to see why.

This new disappearing story feature takes status for WhatsApp way beyond the realm of updating your contacts as to whether you’re at work or home. Businesses can tell a mini-story in their 24-hour status window – whether it’s a product launch, a new service offered, or other important announcement. Likewise, you need to work with your marketing team to create brand stories and media planning that will complement your status on WhatsApp, reinforcing the idea through social media or owned media channels.

What does this mean for us? It’s likely that once clients get wind of this update they’ll want to know how we can leverage the new platform to promote their brands. Facebook may also introduce ads to the platform that would work like SnapChat’s Snap ads. For now, the opportunities may seem limited, but armed with a database of your consumers’ mobile numbers there may be some interesting possibilities especially for live coverage.

Patrick Mcnulty, Social Media Manager – Mindshare UAE