WhatsApp Launches Its Geolocation Sharing: A Step Towards The advertising? 

Categories: Advertising // Tags: , , , .

Oct 23, 2017 // By:admin // No Comment

The WhatsApp app is talking about her. Its new geolocation sharing feature was long awaited by people who use the app to join their friends during appointments.

In the coming weeks, users of the application on iPhone and Android will be able to temporarily share their location live, on a map, with their contacts.

This feature is not quite new. Apple launched a location sharing with iMessage a while ago, and last April Google did the same, allowing to send a link in real time through the email application for which we opt.


However, consider the possibility that WhatsApp is exploring ways to serve this feature to a new set of users: businesses.

WhatsApp’s location sharing comes at a time when the application lays the groundwork for the use of the platform by companies that would connect to potential customers, of course to generate revenue.

In September, WhatsApp said to be testing features with companies, with the goal of simplifying their communication with people on the app.

WhatsApp tests its functionality in two ways: first, via a free small business application, “WhatsApp Business”, and the other with a solution for larger businesses. According to WhatsApp, banks and airlines that have customers around the world will be able to send them “useful” notifications concerning, for example, flight schedules. This is where location tracking might be convenient.

If a WhatsApp user contacts a local store on the app and agrees to allow the store to track their rental, that store could alert the user to their receipt of a coupon the next time they go found in the vicinity.

WhatsApp did not mention companies in its blog post about live location sharing. A spokesman also declined to speak more on the subject, saying that the company did not “comment on future product releases.”

In April Twitter announced that the social network would allow a company to send Twitter users a direct message, making location sharing or requesting it.

“People have complete control of the location sharing they do with a business,” said Twitter, clarifying a clear privacy concern.

“Companies will first have to ask someone to share their location. The person can then choose to ignore the request, share their precise location, or choose a place name from a list, whether physically located there or not. ”

In one of the examples given by the company, a bot sent a message to a person on Twitter, a message inviting him to start a restaurant search. The customer responded by writing “take-away order”, after which the company attached to the bot located the customer on a map before proposing a list of restaurants located in the area.

This scenario makes sense of WhatsApp’s insistence over the past few years by stating that when companies could go to users on the app, they would only do so in a “useful” way, and not for advertisement.

As a reminder, WhatsApp is, according to its history, anti-advertising.

When Facebook bought WhatsApp in February 2014 for $ 22 million, the company did it in the belief that the messaging app would remain independent and that Mark Zuckerberg would not pressure the founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton for that they monetize the platform.

Since then, WhatsApp has reached one billion active users each day and hired a director of marketing and advertising from Facebook, Matthew Idema. In addition, only last month, Brian Acton of WhatsApp – who has one day signed a note claiming “No ads! No games! No gimmicks! “- left the company to start a non-profit business.

The departure of Brian Acton does not necessarily mean that WhastApp will betray its founding principles by opening the doors to location-based advertising. However, this may well facilitate the introduction of feature-based services by the Facebook parent company, especially if companies on the platform can demonstrate that these services are useful to customers.

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