WhatsApp and Instagram Tales
WhatsApp: A Controversial Move
WhatsApp says it will begin sharing more data with Facebook and will start letting some companies send messages to users.
WhatsApp will now share users’ phone numbers with the social network, which it will use to provide “more relevant” friend suggestions and advertisements.
One analyst said some people might feel “betrayed” by the move.
WhatsApp said sharing users’ phone numbers with Facebook would help tackle spam and abuse, as well as offer people “better friend suggestions and more relevant ads”.
Using the data, Facebook will be able to match people who have exchanged phone numbers, but have not added one another as “friends” on the social network.
WhatsApp will also share information about when people last used the service, but said it would not share the contents of messages, which are encrypted.
“Your encrypted messages stay private and no-one else can read them. Not WhatsApp, not Facebook, nor anyone else,” the company said in a blogpost.
The company said users would be able to opt out of sharing information with Facebook by following the steps outlined on its website.
What This Means Marketing-Wise
The company suggested messages typically sent via SMS text message – such as airline flight alerts or bank balance updates – could be sent via WhatsApp instead.
It said that in addition to appointment information and delivery notifications, it would also allow “marketing” messages.
“Messages you may receive containing marketing could include an offer for something that might interest you,” the company said.
According to marketers users may not mind the service “if they can opt in and the messages are useful”.
“It will help them generate revenue if they charge businesses a fee to send messages,” she told the BBC.
“But WhatsApp needs to be careful, a lot of people use it because they don’t get advertising there.”
The company said it would test such messaging features in the coming months, but promised to avoid a “spammy experience” where people are inundated with ads, and said it would not display so-called banner ads in its app.
“WhatsApp has the potential to be a great communication facility, if it concentrates on a solid user experience as its differential.”
Instagram Stories: Benefits for Your Business
The photo-sharing network recently launched its most significant and talked-about feature to date: Instagram Stories. It allows users to share—in a slideshow format—photos and videos that then disappear after 24 hours.
Instant video was initially brushed off as a micro-trend but the stats show that it’s a force to be reckoned with: Snapchat boasts over 100 million daily active users, with a staggering 10 billion snaps being viewed every 24 hours, and it’s now the third most popular social channel, creeping up just behind Instagram and Facebook.
A chief benefit of instant-video marketing is that it’s quicker and easier than painstakingly editing picture-perfect images and scheduling endless pieces of content for, say, Twitter or Facebook. Instagram Stories is immediate, reactive. and authentic. You simply hit record and upload. No editing required.
“It’s all about the little moments and telling your audience what’s happening in the here and now. It gives you a chance to be creative, lighthearted, and to refresh the feel of your social media channels. And because Stories are separate from your existing curated feed, you can share more content than ever before, without fear of spamming your followers.
Of course, if your brand already has a following on Instagram, using the Stories feature is a bit of a no-brainer, as it offers you another, more intimate and engaging way of connecting with your audience.”