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WhatsApp is an instant messaging app owned by Facebook Inc. Launched in 2009, it has become one of the most popular communication apps in the world, with over 2 billion monthly active users.

The platform allows users to exchange text messages, images, audios, videos, and make voice and video calls. In addition, in the context of digital marketing, WhatsApp offers a valuable space to interact with customers and prospects in a personal and direct way.

Origin and history of WhatsApp

WhatsApp was founded in 2009 by two former Yahoo! employees, Jan Koum and Brian Acton, who decided to create a messaging app based on simplicity and efficiency. Their goal was to develop a product that would allow people to stay in touch with friends and family no matter their location.

The app's name, "WhatsApp," is a play on words that reads like "What's Up," a common expression in English that can be translated as "What's up?" or "How are you?"

Since its inception, WhatsApp has experienced steady and rapid growth. In December 2009, just six months after its launch, it already had 200,000 active users. This figure rose to 400 million in December 2013, making WhatsApp the most widely used messaging app in the world.

In 2014, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for approximately $19 billion, one of the largest acquisitions in the history of technology to date. Since then, WhatsApp has continued to expand and evolve, incorporating features like voice and video calling, end-to-end encryption, and most recently, a version of the app designed specifically for businesses: WhatsApp Business.

WhatsApp and digital marketing

WhatsApp can play an essential role in digital marketing thanks to its large user base and the platform's unique features. There are two main modalities in which it can be used: WhatsApp Messenger and WhatsApp Business.

WhatsApp Messenger is the original version of the application, ideal for small businesses that want to maintain direct and personalized contact with their clientele.

WhatsApp Business, launched in 2018, offers additional features designed specifically for businesses. These include:

  • Company Profile: Allows businesses to provide important details such as address, company description, email, and website.
  • Automatic messages: Allows businesses to send welcome or absence messages to customers.
  • Tags: Help businesses quickly organize and find messages and chats.
  • Product Catalog: Allows businesses to display their products and services directly on their WhatsApp profile.

Benefits of WhatsApp in digital marketing

WhatsApp can bring great value to digital marketing:

  • Global reach: WhatsApp has a massive user base and is especially popular in emerging markets.
  • Customization: It allows a direct and personalized interaction with customers.
  • Immediacy: Messages sent via WhatsApp are usually read within the first few minutes after they are sent.
  • Versatility: The platform supports text, images, audios, videos, and links, allowing for a wide variety of content.

Marketing strategies on WhatsApp

Marketing strategies on WhatsApp should be aimed at creating a solid and trusting relationship with customers and prospects. Some strategies include:

  1. Customer Support: WhatsApp is a great platform to provide support and respond to customer queries quickly and personally.
  2. Order and delivery notifications: Businesses can use WhatsApp to send order status notifications, purchase confirmations, and delivery details.
  3. Promotion of products and services: Businesses can send exclusive offers, coupons, and discounts to their customers via WhatsApp.
  4. Surveys and feedback: WhatsApp is an ideal platform to request direct feedback from customers and conduct quick surveys.

In short, WhatsApp provides an effective and personalized communication channel that can be used to improve the relationship with customers and increase the efficiency of digital marketing strategies.

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