Irrespective of whether it is ethical or unethical, allowed or restricted, advised or discouraged, WhatsApp has become the go-to app for communications even official ones. It has totally changed the meaning and usage of grapevine channels as they are known in business communications. Also Read - WhatsApp to soon let users view status updates within the chat listAlso Read - WhatsApp screenshot blocking feature rolling out to Android users on beta
By now all the hesitations of communicating official things over WhatsApp are gone. Not just within colleagues from office, but communications with clients, and media are all taking place over WhatsApp. This also means around 90 percent of meetings, at least from personal experience, are initiated and scheduled over WhatsApp. Also Read - WhatsApp might soon introduce an 'Undo' option to recover deleted messages
But to calendarize it one has to leave the app, and switch to other calendar apps. WhatsApp must introduce a Digital Assistant feature similar to what we find on Facebook Messenger. This would help in planning where a person could schedule a meeting along with venue. This could then be added to the calendar.
It would be an important feature for WhatsApp to make business communication even more effective. This is definitely a feature that could be effectively used in private communications where friends can schedule a party or hangout.
WhatsApp has to go beyond chatting, and payments should not be the only value added option. If it adds a Digital Assistant where users could plan their meets, the next step could be collaborating with services like Nearbuy in India, or Groupon in US, and other geographies. This would give users the tools to book venues and enjoy offers around, all without leaving the app.
Watch: New WhatsApp features introduced
This feature could also reduce users search dependency on other apps. As internet and smartphones percolate to more users, searching effectively would always be a challenge. Many new users may not be well versed with the means to look for keywords while searching, and hence are unlikely to get the desired or the best results.
Let s hope this is a feature that WhatsApp adds soon, which will no doubt take the user experience to next level. It will go a long way in aiding users end-to-end communication without the need to switch to another application, which is never a good communication experience.
The article is written by Faisal Kawoosa, who is the head of new initiatives at CMR with over 13 years of research and consulting expertise in the technology domain.