WhatsApp is moving from the realm of social conversations to becoming an important channel for content distribution. Globally, publishers like BBC, Financial times and the Guardian started to experiment with using WhatsApp for content distribution. In India, BloombergQuint (BQ) was one of the pioneers to venture into it. They launched their WhatsApp Broadcast Service in November, 2017 and have been gaining a significant amount of referral traffic from the channel.
We caught up with Saket Saurabh (Business Head-Digital, BloombergQuint) to understand the idea behind using WhatsApp for content distribution.
What was the main idea behind starting this service?
One - WhatsApp is the most popular messaging platform in India. Two - Users have started picking up news content from WhatsApp. These two were the triggers to start off our broadcast service.
Moreover, we wanted to be present in an ecosystem, that was often visited by our audience and one that they were comfortable using.
Are you on any other messaging platforms other than WhatsApp?
We are live on Facebook messenger and Telegram, but the audience on these platforms is comparatively less.
So, how can I subscribe to this service?
You can follow the WhatsApp Subscription link on our website. You can either save our number and send us a ‘Start BQ’ message or simply click on the contact link if you are browsing on a phone.
What is your message sending strategy?
We send out our podcast - ‘All you need to know’, every morning, summarizing newsworthy snippets, alerts and live updates on the economy, corporate and market news.
We keep our users updated on breaking news and other big news stories of the day. On an average, we share around 5-7 posts, daily.
Users can interact using hashtag search #topic to receive topic wise content on their mobile. For example, A #Modi message can get you three latest news articles on Modi. Users can consume stock market rates of individual companies using this feature.
How successful is the service?
We have crossed 100,000 subscribers. The channel is contributing a significant amount of our website’s referral traffic, but I can't quote the exact numbers.
How has Quintype helped in this whole process?
Quintype not only helped us in integrating our content with WhatsApp, but also helped us take on customization. The team built APIs that responded to user’s topic and stock queries, allowing us to send them relevant stories.
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