Brands are spamming WhatsApp users in India, Facebook’s largest market

As Meta (formerly Facebook) becomes more involved with businesses on WhatsApp, their primary strategy for making money off the messaging app with over 2 billion users, we are beginning to see how the user experience may change on the previously free app. Unfortunately, the changes are not favorable.

In recent months, numerous individuals in India, which has over 500 million WhatsApp accounts and is the app’s largest market, have expressed frustration with receiving excessive spam messages from businesses. Users report that WhatsApp, which initially replaced SMS by offering free messaging, is now starting to resemble an SMS app.

According to an individual with knowledge of the situation, thousands of brands in India have registered for WhatsApp and have consistently achieved an 80% or higher engagement rate with users. This rate is significantly higher than the results seen with email and traditional text campaigns. What is particularly irritating is that even after users block certain businesses, they often continue to receive messages from these businesses under different phone numbers, as the author has observed.

It is not surprising that businesses in India are facing spamming issues on WhatsApp. Previously, Google offered businesses in India the ability to use Rich Communication Services (RCS) to enhance their communication with customers. RCS is an industry effort to improve traditional SMS with modern features such as end-to-end encryption and richer texts. However, Google had to discontinue the service in India after some businesses violated the company’s anti-spam policies by sending promotional messages to users.

To combat spamming on their platform, a Meta spokesperson stated that their policy is to ensure that users request updates before businesses can send them messages. They also provide users with easy ways to block a business or report a problem at any time. Additionally, they work closely with businesses to ensure that messages are helpful and expected, and have daily limits on the number of messages they can send. Getting this right is essential for them, businesses, and most importantly, the people they serve. To read more about WhatsApp’s spamming issue, visit Rest of the World.


What is WhatsApp?

WhatsApp is a free instant messaging app that allows users to send text, voice, and video messages, as well as make voice and video calls.

How do I download WhatsApp?

WhatsApp can be downloaded from the App Store for iOS devices or from the Google Play Store for Android devices.

Do I need to pay to use WhatsApp?

No, WhatsApp is completely free to use. You only need to pay for internet data usage or any other data charges that may apply.

Can I use WhatsApp on my computer?

Yes, you can use WhatsApp on your computer through the web or desktop app. However, you must have the WhatsApp app installed on your mobile device and an active internet connection.

Is WhatsApp secure?

WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption to secure messages and calls, which means that only the sender and recipient can access the content of the messages. However, users should be aware that anything they share on WhatsApp can still be intercepted or compromised if their device or account is hacked.

Can I make voice and video calls on WhatsApp?

Yes, WhatsApp allows users to make voice and video calls to other WhatsApp users for free, as long as they have an internet connection.

Can I send files and documents on WhatsApp?

Yes, you can send files, photos, videos, and documents on WhatsApp, as long as they meet the app’s file size and format requirements.

Can I block someone on WhatsApp?

Yes, you can block someone on WhatsApp to stop them from sending you messages or calling you. You can also report any spam or abusive messages to WhatsApp.

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