Advantages and disadvantages of using WhatsApp in mass media

Advantages and disadvantages of using WhatsApp in mass media

More than 1.2 billion users. WhatsApp is on your mobile, possibly also on the person next to you, and this detail has attracted the attention of the media in their fight to reach the audience in the digital environment. And today, the Opennemas team have debated about it. Is it useful to use this application as a way to increase the traffic?

As always, it depends. A few days ago, Digiday described how The Financial Times found an interesting niche through WhatsApp alerts, concluding that some of its audience could become a potential paying user based on the value of their visits . “One of our metrics of success is quality visits —people who come and return within seven days— these people are more likely to become subscribers”.

To understand it, Alana Coates, audiences editor of the Times, established a comparison: each message issued by WhatsApp was equivalent to the traffic generated by a post in their official account on Twitter, with a volume of followers above 5.7 million. Interesting to assume how the use of each platform is interpreted and whether it causes a return to the web in the form of pageviews or not.

However... Which are the advantages and disadvantages of using WhatsApp? We tell you several guidelines to keep in mind. And, well... Barack is already taking note of it!


1. A good option to go directly to the potential target: In the past, the media had a more passive strategy regarding how to reach potential audiences. With the transition to digital, everything has changed. Radios, TV shows and newspapers have gone on the attack. As if they were ringing you at the door of your home.

2. The possibility of knowing what interests or not the user: Media like Faro de Vigo have an interesting option with which, from the beginning, they ask what news and from what region import or desire the members of your database WhatsApp . Pure and hard segmentation. Useful to go straight to the heart.

3. A close relationship with the audience: If you tell to a journalist that you would be communicating through Emoji icons by now, he would probably laugh. But the languages ​​and the ways to communicate to the public change, because their habits also do and it is convenient to think how the reader will feel. In his hypothetical state of mind when reading, to be exact.


1. The creation of lists, limited to 256 users: If you work in the social network team of a media you will understand why this is a handicap. It is important to know how to segment, but if your audience is close to thousands of followers, you will be forced to create more than one list, with the tedious process.

2. The importance of not circumventing the data privacy: It is not about creating a group or an alert and you are done. By linking your service to the public you are establishing a bilateral relationship that must be respected, on one side as well as the other. In the case of the media, especially for the appropriation of customers data and its privacy.

3. The difference between being or not invasive: It is vital to delimit -and tell it to the user- from the beginning what how the service will be offered. If the idea is to launch a daily alert with the 10 most read news of the day, if also last minute updates will be sent... Keeping or losing the reader depends on how much their space is respected.

What about you? Would you be interested in going ahead with an instant messaging strategy in your digital newspaper? In Opennemas we can advise you on how to proceed with it and get more out of your relation with the audience. Contact us!

And remember...


Advantages and disadvantages of using WhatsApp in mass media