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WhatsApp Business Status: Why companies shouldn't use it [December 2023]

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WhatsApp now has over two billion users worldwide. But it's not just private individuals who use WhatsApp. More and more companies have recognized that WhatsApp has enormous potential in marketing and customer service. WhatsApp owner Meta has also recognized this business segment and introduced the WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business API solutions for companies several years ago. Both solutions are being continuously developed. WhatsApp Business now includes the function to create a WhatsApp status. In this article, you can find out exactly what the WhatsApp Business status is, what advantages and disadvantages it offers and how it works.

What is the WhatsApp Business Status?

WhatsApp Business Status is a feature within the WhatsApp Business app that allows businesses to briefly share images, videos and messages with their contact list. This feature is often used by businesses to share information, special offers or news. The status messages are designed similarly to personal WhatsApp users and offer businesses an additional platform to increase their visibility and interaction with customers. Unlike normal messages, however, these status messages are only visible for a limited time. Users also do not receive individual notifications. In order to see the status, your customers must actively open the "News" page in WhatsApp Messenger and view the company's status. The status can only be viewed by people who have saved the company in their address book and have themselves been saved in the company's address book at the same time.

Two screenshots of WhatsApp Business Status
This is what a status in WhatsApp Business can look like

Create WhatsApp Business status - instructions

Creating and sharing a status in WhatsApp Business is a simple process that allows businesses to communicate effectively with their target audience. Here is a step-by-step guide:

  1. Open WhatsApp Business: Start the app on your smartphone.
  2. Select the 'News' tab: Here you will find the option to edit or add your status.
  3. Click on the plus symbol: This starts the process of creating a new status.
  4. Select content: You can select text, images or videos for your status. Please note that a status message can contain a maximum of 700 characters and the length of a video is limited to 30 seconds.
  5. Send: After you have created your status, you can share it with your contact list.

By using the Status feature in WhatsApp Business, businesses can share their messages in a personal and engaging way that encourages customer engagement.

The disadvantages of WhatsApp Business Status

Creating a status in WhatsApp Business is pretty simple, as you've seen in our guide. Sounds like the perfect method for marketing, doesn't it? Unfortunately, we have to disappoint you. Even though it's easy to set up and completely free to use, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages:

  • Not GDPR-compliant: The use of the WhatsApp Business app, and therefore also WhatsApp Business Status, is generally not GDPR-compliant. Companies that use WhatsApp Business risk expensive warnings, severe penalties and time-consuming court proceedings. You can find more information on this in our article"WhatsApp Business and GDPR". From the point of view of the GDPR, there is also no option to unsubscribe from a company's marketing with WhatsApp Status.

  • No target group-specific sending: The WhatsApp Business Status can be seen by anyone who has saved the company as a contact in their address book and who has also been saved in the company's address book. This means that target group-specific marketing, which is actually so important, cannot be implemented.

  • Low visibility and open rates: WhatsApp users have to open the "News" tab in WhatsApp on their own, without having received a notification beforehand, and view the status of the company. Very few customers usually do this. The open rates of WhatsApp Business Status are correspondingly low.

  • Deletion after 24 hours: Every WhatsApp status, whether from companies or private individuals, is deleted after 24 hours at the latest. This reduces visibility even further.

  • Impersonal marketing: A WhatsApp status is much more impersonal than a direct message to the customer via a WhatsApp newsletter, for example. As a result, it is very difficult to build personal customer loyalty and influence consumers' emotionally driven purchasing decisions.

  • No automation: WhatsApp Business Statuses do not offer any options for automation or the use of integrations during creation.
Disadvantages of WhatsApp Business Status
Why WhatsApp Business Status is not suitable for companies

Not a good alternative: WhatsApp broadcasts and WhatsApp channels

Given the relevant disadvantages of WhatsApp Business Status, you may have already thought about possible alternatives. With WhatsApp Broadcasts and WhatsApp Channels, there are two other options for marketing with the conventional WhatsApp Business app. However, even these options are not suitable for distributing promotional messages and important customer information.

WhatsApp broadcasts allow messages to be sent to a larger group of recipients, but are limited to 256 people. In addition, the recipients must have the company's number saved in order to receive the messages. According to WhatsApp's terms of use, sending marketing messages via broadcast is strictly prohibited and can lead to the account being blocked. Furthermore, neither personalization nor automation are possible. WhatsApp broadcasts are part of the WhatsApp Business functions and are therefore not GDPR-compliant.

WhatsApp channels allow companies to send messages in a chat-like format, whereby the recipients' interaction options are limited to emojis. In contrast to the time-limited WhatsApp status, the messages in channels remain permanently visible. Due to the severely limited interaction options, conversational commerce is completely excluded with the very impersonal WhatsApp channels. Furthermore, neither target group-specific sending nor the use of automation and integrations is possible. If the conventional WhatsApp Business Messenger is used, WhatsApp Channels also have the familiar conflicts with the GDPR.

How to do it right: GDPR-compliant customer communication and newsletter marketing with the WhatsApp API

For effective, professional and, above all, GDPR-compliant customer communication via WhatsApp, using the WhatsApp Business API interface is the only way to go. In contrast to the conventional WhatsApp Business Status, the API enables personalized and automated mass communication that complies with data protection guidelines. Companies can use the WhatsApp API to create customized marketing campaigns with extremely high conversion rates while ensuring GDPR compliance. Thanks to integration into existing company software, messaging can also be fully automated and seamlessly integrated into company processes. This ensures highly professional customer communication that focuses on the customer.

At Mateo, we are your messaging experts when it comes to customer communication and the right marketing. Hundreds of companies are already using Mateo and are delighted with it. Our customers particularly appreciate the following benefits:

  • Integrations: With Mateo you can integrate WhatsApp with over 6,000 software programs and send fully automated messages such as invitations, order confirmations, shipping information, invoices or reminders.
  • Newsletter marketing: Send GDPR-compliant newsletters via WhatsApp or SMS and benefit from open rates of over 95%.
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Henri Hoepfner
Messenger expert at Mateo

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Christian Strauch
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