As 2021 comes to an end, the popular messaging platform WhatsApp has predicted six new trends that users in India should look out for in the coming year. According to WhatsApp, “In 2022, the trends that will shape India’s journey to becoming a digitally inclusive and financially empowered society will come from the most simple, accessible and scalable technology solutions that have the power to bridge the urban-rural divide and address local challenges.” Also Read - You can share your WhatsApp Status updates on other apps, here’s how
Here’s a list of trends that WhatsApp users in India should look out for in 2022: Also Read - BMC launches MyBMC Assist WhatsApp helpline for Mumbaikars: How it works
Citizen engagement and governance
WhatsApp is planning to focus on Citizen engagement and governance next year. It will introduce new State-level WhatsApp chatbots that will provide users with authentic information from relevant resources. As per a statement by WhatsApp, “In 2022, we expect more innovation in effective governance and efficient citizen engagement by city and state administrations, thus lowering barriers for citizens to access credible, authentic and useful services.” Also Read - Can you really use two WhatsApp accounts on one phone? Check here
Digitization of small and micro businesses
WhatsApp reveals that “15 million businesses in India rely on WhatsApp’s Business App” to connect with their customers. For the unversed, WhatsApp Business App is a free-of-cost app that offers tools and features for small and micro-businesses to help them connect with their customers digitally. WhatsApp reveals that this digitization has offered entrepreneurs across India, especially women in rural India democratized access to customer bases and helps them grow and scale their business, further bridging the gender digital divide.
Multilingual Chatbots are something that WhatsApp users highly rely on these days. According to the messaging platform, these chatbots deliver a more natural and customized user experience. In 2022, the platform will focus on these chatbots to improve its localisation efforts as that can be vital for businesses to succeed in a diverse country like India.
Since RBI is encouraging people of India to go cash-less, this is the right time for WhatsApp to improve its digital payment services. As per WhatsApp, the collective goal for players in the digital payments ecosystem in India will be to offer frictionless and seamless payment service experience by (a) enabling access to digital payments, digital banking services, micro-finance and (b) promoting easy and secure transactions with service providers and businesses.
WhatsApp says that “Payments on WhatsApp” will be a key partner to NPCI and RBI in achieving the shared objective of “scaling the adoption of UPI and enabling financial inclusion for the underserved”.
Simplification of UI/UX
WhatsApp reveals that the number of internet users in rural India will surpass the number of users in urban areas by 2025. Most of them are first-time users in rural India. Products and services with a simple UI/UX will lower the barriers for the first time internet users and marginalized communities to understand them better. This will help in speeding up the digitization of the Indian economy.
More traditional sectors to adopt the digital route
In the coming year, traditional sectors like education, healthcare, banking and financial services will have the opportunity to increase their services and reach India’s rural population, using transformative technologies that are efficient and cost-effective such as the WhatsApp Business Platform.