When was the last time you went a day without checking your Whatsapp stories/status?
Think of it as a way of broadcasting something fun to your contacts in one go, except it won’t show up in their individual chats, but rather in their Status tab. The stories only last for 24 hours.
Interestingly, the applications let you control who can see your status Update. In WhatsApp’s Status tab on iOS, there’s a privacy option right on top. You have three options: “my contacts,” “contacts except…” and “only share with…” for your story. On Android, the Status Privacy option is in the settings. Just tap the three dots on top of WhatsApp homepage, and you’ll see Status Privacy option on top. Once again, you can choose from the three options. This can be an awesome platform targeted posts and communications. You can learn other features about the stories here.
Whatsapp stories allow for a peer to peer video/photo/GIFs/text sharing feature of the application that can be viewed by family, friends and colleagues enhancing a community feel that top-down professionally produced content can’t.
“It’s a copycat move, this idea of posting data and allowing it to disappear after 24 hours. Everyone copied it from Snapchat. Whatsapp has only leveraged its very clean, interpersonal platform to resell the idea to users, most of whom previously use the app to send and receive messages. In the near future, the messaging platform sees itself as a rival for social networks like Facebook, a much more refined and sophisticated version. Zuckerberg saw this potential from afar and credit to him.”- Elusoji Solomon
As the argument continues to rage on that Facebook acquisitions—Whatsapp and Instagram—have consistently updated features to suffocate Snapchat out of the market, it is arguable that with the products have reached a degree of parity in terms of features i.e. snapchat and all. Some have coined a term for it—Snachatification. However, for the CEO of whatsapp, Jan Koum the stories feature marks a return to the original intentions of the founders (Koum and Alex Fisherman) who originally built the app that will allow friends and other contacts know what you are up to.
“His thinking was it would be really cool to have statuses next to individual names of the people.” The idea was that if you were going to the gym, in a meeting, or had a low-battery, you could let people know the situation so they knew not to call you, or at least could know what was going on. Hence the name, WhatsApp, or what’s up
– Alex Fishman
For, Zuckerberg, he explained that the new features are built around fostering a community around video sharing, which signals a shift in the focus from ‘time spent’ to ‘time well spent’. For me, the definition of time well spent is to exploit the feature to uniquely position personal and business brands for gains.
As the business world continues to speculate maybe this is the time, Facebook decides to cash out from whatsapp (A community of over 1 billion users), I feel the attention of users should be directed to how we can leverage the awesomeness of the personal medium. WhatsApp said more than a year ago that it was looking at ways that businesses could send messages to its users in an unobtrusive and useful way—this potentially opens the door to messages from businesses, or rather, advertisers.
“Not really. Whatsapp say they are dedicated to not displaying ads. But, who knows, the future is not a lighthouse. Stories are about engagement, ensuring that people spend more time inside the app. Whether they want to monetise this increased engagement in the near future is, I think, inevitable”- Elusoji Solomon(Journalist, Thisday Newspapers)
The update to the app has turned it for the first time into a platform for passively consuming content, similar to the way people scroll through their Facebook or Instagram newsfeeds – and it’s a move that could finally usher in a money-making system like advertising.
On leveraging Whatsapp stories for personal brand, Saviour Okusenogu,a software developer, has this to say “When I’m asked any question about branding, my reply always includes the clause: ‘Shout about it’. In my opinion, figuring out WhatsApp stories for personal branding shouldn’t be too difficult, people check other people’s status either because they’re entertaining, informative, or all-around interesting to them. So if you’re into something, whatever it is, creating content about it every single day in form of text, pictures, and videos and uploading onto your status is the quickest /easiest way to get people to know you for what you do. It’s the literal definition of what I mean by shouting about it.
This also exactly applies to business branding, but I’ll advice tripping in some personal content in between so that your WhatsApp status space does not become advert- ridden because nobody likes Ads.”
“So the internet has given everyone a voice but the question is, who gets heard? We are seeing a huge behavioural change with Whatsapp stories. Business brands should already know how much and well they should always get in the face of their user base via Whatsapp stories. In fact, a police station in India signed up on whatsapp and received about 23,000 messages on the launch day. Just imagine that.
Would you rather whine about lack of sales or join the trend of SMEs raking massive product conversations daily?”- Usman Abiola( UX Designer, Flutterwave)
Rasheed Ridwan(Convener,IBTechMeetUp) adds,
“Just like Facebook and Google advertising platform have retargeting features whatsapp is a remarketing tool to engage and retarget leads and customers. It starts by building a comprehensive database of the target audience, serving them vital, impressive and refreshing information while putting your brand message in between. To get the best out of whatsapp stories you must be able to tell compelling stories that touch using audacious visuals (images and video) around your audience desire and needs.”
“I think it makes more sense when you couple the use of WhatsApp stories with the Broadcast feature. That shii works like crazy. The platform is very limited cos it works with your contacts but it’s very effective. These days, it’s not about the numbers but the level of engagement. WhatsApp will probably command more conversion rate than any other advertising platform known and unknown to man”- Taslim Okunola(Digital Marketer)
Samuel Ajayi explains that the personal nature of Whatsapp is something users can exploit in building their personal brands. “WhatsApp stories also allows brands to feel human to their customers. And people can directly engage consumers. Stories lets you know exactly what gave you that appeal i.e engagement via messaging through that specific status. Excitingly, it is an amazing marketing platform because it also comes across as marketing without really marketing”.
It would be nice to hear your Whatsapp status stories. Let’s explore!