Is WhatsApp Becoming a Super App?

It is an Incredible App

It will be an understatement if we say that WhatsApp has become important for us. In fact, it has gone in a different league altogether. Now, WhatsApp has become the most powerful medium of our communication. It doesn’t matter what you are doing, you cannot make it without this incredible app. For example, if you are going to the office in the morning, and find yourself stuck up in one of the worst traffic jams, what do you do? You simply send a message to your WhatsApp group of office saying you will reach office late.

Similarly, if your father has asked you to purchase a pair of jogging shoes while coming back from the office, you are not sure what kind of shoes your father will prefer. Well ! You look at the available options in the showroom, take a photograph and send them to your father. Now, your father sitting at home can see those photographs and advise you accordingly. Just imagine, you needed a day off to do the same kind of thing, but courtesy to WhatsApp, you can do it in real time.

So, if you are sending messages to your colleague, sharing photographs from your birthday party, forwarding important documents with your clients, or just saying good morning to your mother, you use WhatsApp. Now, you may ask, is WhatsApp on its way to become a super app like WeChat?  A super app is one from which you can do many things apart from chatting and sharing photographs. What is that special feature that is going to make WhatsApp more versatile and useful to common people ?

At present, you can make payment through WhatsApp,  besides making audio and video calls. You can book your ride to the airport and railway station, and very soon, you will be using it to know everything around you- restaurants, schools, nightclubs, ATMs, and cinema halls. Currently, WhatsApp is testing a unique feature that will allow users to find local shops and services on the platform itself. 

The New Feature on WhatsApp

Recently their CEO Will Cathcart sent a tweet that gave an insight into features WhatsApp is working on. By using that feature, you can now search by category on WhatsApp. Therefore, if you wish to search for grocery stores or restaurants, you can do that. It will be so interesting to get all this information on your WhatsApp. You won’t need Google to know about these things. In that sense, WhatsApp will be like a super app.

It is worth noting that of late WhatsApp is also focusing a lot on business features.  In a very short period of time, it has become very popular and now more than 175 million people use the business version of WhatsApp every day. Moreover, the In App Business Directory feature is currently in the testing phase in countries like Brazil and in the near future, the company will likely increase the scope of testing and cover other countries too.

However, recently there was a lot of uproar with WhatsApp after the messaging app announced a new privacy policy. There are mixed opinions among users about this policy. Some think that it will put users’ privacy at risk. This policy was meant for users who use the business version of the app. Although later on WhatsApp tried to convince users that it will not make any difference to a common user.  Finally, the policy was made optional.

It is Indeed a Super App

As a matter of fact,WhatsApp has all the signs of a super app. After all, what are your expectations from a normal app. You want to connect with the right kind of people, you want to send messages, and share photographs and documents. You would also ideally expect to make an audio call and video chat. The messaging app not only does that but also takes care of your payment, and helps to grow your business. If such an app cannot be called a super app, I do not think any other app can qualify to become one.

There are many apps that are taking cue from WhatsApp to add new features in their repertoire. The app developers know that people use different apps for different purposes, and they keep shifting from one app to another depending upon their need. Hence, if they want users to spend more time on their apps, they will have to give more features to make it more useful for users.

One such app is Connect app, an Indian social media app that specializes in providing dating services. But now, it has started giving professional counselling services too by trained personnel. They are catering to a very important demand that has existed since long but no one ever thought of providing it. This is what a super app can do – motivating others to do beyond their comfort zones.