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Friday, June 05, 2015

Easy WhatsApp Shares

Today I finally got around to trying out a new technique I heard about a couple weeks ago -- and wow, I wish I had known about this earlier. By placing a simple link on your website, you can give your mobile and tablet visitors the ability to instantly share your page with friends using the popular WhatsApp messaging service.

If you're on a WhatsApp-enabled mobile or tablet device, click this link to try it out. It's that simple. No Javascript, no OAuth, no wrangling of permissions.

Here's how it's done:

  1. Add this code to your page:
    <a href="whatsapp://send?text=[[ URL encoded
     message goes here ]]">click this link</a>
  2. Celebrate.

Aside from the incredibly easy setup, one of my favorite things about this is the seamless user experience: the link opens up my WhatsApp conversations list, showing the friends I talk with the most and am the most likely to want to talk to about the action I'm sharing.

Perhaps even more promising, this approach has the potential to spark real conversations between your members and their friends. It's not a broadcast medium like Twitter or Facebook, so you'll probably only get one impression out of it, but it's likely to be orders of magnitude more impactful than any impression from those other networks -- and engaging in real dialogue could do a lot more to galvanize your members than simply getting them to start a thread on Facebook.

For something so easy to deploy, it's worth a test, right?

Love this idea? Click here to share it with your WhatsApp friends.

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