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Decoded: How the same joke or video floods your WhatsApp account 

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New Delhi, Dec 27:  If you are baffled at the speed at which jokes, videos and GIFs reach your WhatsApp account from groups or friends almost at the same time, remember that such posts are being planned and executed by teams sitting in some corner of the country to bombard the maximum number accounts at one go.

With 160 million users in India, the Facebook-owned mobile messaging app has become a top choice among marketers, social influencers and certain groups to reach them via jokes, videos and GIFs whenever there is a breaking news, a major announcement, a tongue-in-cheek celebrity statement or even a festival, say experts.
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“WhatsApp is emerging as a highly susceptible channel for propaganda, misinformation, fake news as well as highly influenceable from the targeted marketing message or advertisement perspective, i.e., digital word-of-mouth,” Neil Shah, Research Director (Devices & Ecosystems) at the market research firm Counterpoint Research, told IANS.

In India, WhatsApp has the highest penetration among any “social-centric” web/app platform available on the nearly 260 million active smartphone users.

“Several marketers are leveraging an infantry of smart or influential folks to develop and spread targeted and viral-natured content. I believe the viral messages developed and spread are not by a single source but many individuals and firms working on this behind the scenes,” Shah added.
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There are ways to populate the sharing of such viral content but it can be defined in two parts — content and objective.

“While objectives and the purposes could be anything, one can easily relate these with driving mass awareness, creating social buzz, dragging public attention on political or public issues or making fun among friends or sharing memes or news,” Anoop Mishra, one of the nation’s leading social media experts, told IANS.

Social media or digital marketing agencies work behind the content marketing strategies to make stories viral and shareable on WhatsApp.

“Several FMCG companies, major political parties and politicians have their in-house sponsored team of social media warriors to generate and share such content or hashtags on various social media platforms,” Mishra noted.

According to Shah, among several social media platforms, WhatsApp has a clear edge because of its user-friendly approach which has put the platform in a strong (as well as vulnerable position) for flow of both good and bad news or information or any content across the platform.

“Since the degree of separation among different WhatsApp users is theoretically lower, there is a high chance for any information to go viral faster than any other social media platform or even word-of-mouth,” said Shah.

With some 150 million active users in India, Facebook is the second-most used social media platform and can also act as a catalyst for proliferation of viral content due to a broader sharing and a greater engagement with the content.

“However, Facebook is quite curated and controlled via an algorithm according to a person’s social graph and Facebook’s advertising engine and, hence, potentially less viral than Whatsapp,” Shah pointed out.

Facebook’s third property, Instagram, is also quickly rising to become a popular platform from the perspective of social media influencers to drive rich content for marketers and mainly target millennials.

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Is there a revenue model in there for those making posts viral? “Absolutely, wherever there is a greater reach and high engagement for any platform, a potential revenue model certainly exists,” Shah stated.

Owing to its “no ads” DNA, WhatsApp has so far been resistant to a direct engagement-driven revenue model. However, with Facebook connecting WhatsApp to its social graph, it unlocks potential for Facebook to work with marketers who, in turn, work with influencers to build a robust value chain.

“Right now with WhatsApp its much more unorganised and influencers are earning directly from the marketers without any Facebook or Whatsapp intervention, unlike the Facebook or Instagram platforms,” Shah told IANS.

According to Mishra, the content is being prepared by digital marketing agencies with some earning prospects.

“But the reality is that more than 80 per cent of the images or videos shared among the WhatsApp groups are downloaded from websites without any personal revenue benefits excepts some blogging sites which are paying their members for posts, comments, likes or to share contentson linked social profiles,” Mishra told IANS.

On August 25, WhatsApp made extensive changes to its privacy policy, announcing it would and could share users’ personal information, including their phone numbers, with its parent company Facebook — a move that drew sharp criticism from privacy activists and the Delhi High Court in India.

The move was touted as the first step towards monetising WhatsApp since Facebook acquired it for $19 billion in 2014.

“Right now, WhatsApp is quite fragmented and unorganised compared to Facebook. We believe this will change fast as Facebook tries to indirectly monetise the power of WhatsApp as a ‘content sharing and targeting’ platform,” Shah added

By Nishant Arora

IANS

#WhatsApp  #Features  #WhatsAppFeatures #Facebook  #Instagram

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HCL launches app dedicated to Indian classical music

Called “HCL Music”, the app is available for both Android and iOS users.

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New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) There is some good news for Indian classical music lovers as HCL has launched a free music app dedicated to catering to their taste in music.

Called “HCL Music“, the app is available for both Android and iOS users, HCL said in a statement.

The app features recordings of live performances from legendary artists, high quality studio recordings featuring maestros, forgotten collections of legends and an assortment of crowd sourced music by young and aspiring artists.

The app houses a collection of Indian classical music across genres including Hindustani, Carnatic and fusion music, HCL said, ading that the aim is to make the app the largest ever repository of classical content and also give upcoming artists a platform to showcase their talent.

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Facebook launches free version of ‘Workplace’ for NGOs

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San Francisco, June 21: Making inroads into the non-profit segment, Facebook has launched a free version of its enterprise communications app ‘Workplace’ to make work better, smarter and faster for charities and non-governmental organisations.

Named “Workplace for Good”, the app would donate work-essential mobile, video, communication and collaboration tools free of charge to organisations like World Wildlife Fund, United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) and more.

“We’re giving ‘Workplace for free’ to non-profits and staff at educational institutions globally, so they can build meaningful communities and create change around the world,” Annette Gevaert, Head, Workplace For Good, Facebook, wrote in a blog post late on Wednesday.

Additionally, the app also comes integrated with tools like “OxBot” which is a jargon-busting bot that provides a link to internal sources of information, increasing accessibility options.

“We’re also renewing our commitment to #ImpactCloud, a coalition of technology companies including Workplace, Salesforce, Box, Okta and Microsoft, working together to help accelerate digital transformation and impact for humanitarian and disaster relief organisations,” Gevaert added.

IANS

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‘Twitter Media’, a new home for publishers, is here

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San Francisco, June 20: In an apparent attempt to get close to publishers, Twitter has launched “Twitter Media” — a website dedicated to helping small publishers get the most from its platform.

Kay Madati, Global Vice President and Head of Content Partnerships officially introduced the new site.

“With Facebook disappointing publishers for the last few years Twitter saw an opportunity, and now it’s launching ‘Twitter Media’, a website dedicated to helping small publishers get the most from its platform,” tech website WeRSM reported late on Tuesday.

“Twitter Media” would feature best practices from content publishers across Twitter, curated by Twitter’s news, sports and entertainment partnerships teams.

The micro-blogging site said that “Twitter Media” will be updated regularly with case studies and success stories and will also feature a blog to help publishers stay up-to-date with tools for publishers.

The website would also include information about new products and features designed specifically for content publishers and there would be an easy-to-navigate help section curating answers to the most common questions Twitter gets from content publishers.

IANS

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