As the hype of the Facebook’s WhatsApp acquisition for a $19 billion is beginning to die down, the questions remain – what impact will this have on your business marketing strategies?
Firstly, for those who aren’t familiar with WhatsApp? Their website home page describes the app as…“a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. Because WhatsApp Messenger uses the same internet data plan that you use for email and web browsing, there is no cost to message and stay in touch with your friends”. WhatsApp is initially free to download and thereafter charges $0.99 fee per annum.
The latter six words in their description are the key…it’s all about “staying in touch with your friends”. The opportunities available to the business world and marketers are not yet clear but what is evident is that WhatsApp have clearly committed to “no ads, no games, no gimmicks” since its inception.
Ask your customers and you will find that they don’t overly care which technology delivers their messages, as long as they are delivered. Thus, the text messaging/SMS messaging channel is set to remain a hugely popular, effective and lucrative way for marketers to connect with and grow their customer base. Similarly, marketers are solely interested in a low cost, well supported, reliable business messaging service, not the technology used to send and receive their messages.
It’s worth noting, the magnitude of the WhatsApp acquisition highlights what we already know, that messaging is the most important thing people do on their mobile devices and it will continue to grow, evolve and increase ROI. For those marketers worrying what effect Whatsapp will have on Bulk SMS messaging, we recommend they do not!! Focus instead on optimising your use of Bulk SMS and you will continue to reep the rewards.