WhatsApp has added another way for users to stay in touch, with a new desktop app for Windows PCs.
As you can see here, the new WhatsApp for Windows, which is now available in the Microsoft store, provides another means to log into your WhatsApp chats via your PC, in a more integrated, streamlined manner.
As explained by WhatsApp:
“WhatsApp Desktop users have been using our web-based desktop app (WhatsApp Desktop) or our browser-based app (WhatsApp Web). As we’re always trying to improve the WhatsApp experience for our users, we’re developing apps native to Windows and Mac operating systems.”
Indeed, desktop users, including businesses, have been able to log in to WhatsApp for some time, so functionally, this is not a major shift. But the new native Windows app will provide increased reliability and speed, while also facilitating more integrated notifications, and better design, which is optimized for desktop systems.
That could make it easier to keep track of all of your various social engagements in one place, while for brands, it will also help to further integrate your customer service efforts into a more centralized hub, with all of your key platforms accessible from your main workstation.
Which could be particularly important, given that more and more sharing activity is switching to private chats.
When social media first arrived, it was a novelty to be able to share your perspective with the world, via your own broadcast platform to help you get heard and seen. But over time, the negatives of that process have pushed more people away from public sharing, which has since seen the rise of ephemeral content, private groups, and messaging apps.
Just recently, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri noted that ‘all the growth in photos and videos from friends has been in stories and in DMs’.
Friends post a lot more to stories and send a lot more DMs than they post to Feed. If you want to make sure you never miss a feed post from a friend, add them to your favorites and they’ll show up at the top.
— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) July 26, 2022
People are not as interested in public engagement as they once were, which is why providing more means to connect via DMs is important – and for brands, facilitating such within your process could be key to maximizing conversion.
As such, why adding WhatsApp connection on desktop could be significant, and it’s worth considering how it might fit into your broader social management system.
In addition to this, WhatsApp also says that a native Mac version of the platform is also in development (you can download the beta version here).
Meta Will Shut Down its Newsletter Platform Early Next Year
Another sign of Meta’s fleeting interest in the latest trends, the company launched Bulletin in April 2021, as part of an effort to take a piece of the growing newsletter market, with platforms like Substack seeing massive growth in facilitating direct connection between writers and their audiences. Twitter also acquired newsletter platform Revue, and it had seemed, at the time, that newsletters could offer a new, supplementary income stream for creators, aligned with social apps.
In addition to this, Meta also saw an opportunity to provide a platform for local publications that had been shut down due to the pandemic. With ad dollars from local businesses drying up, due to lockdown measures, many smaller publications had to shut down, and Meta viewed this as a chance to make Facebook an even more critical element of community engagement, by providing a direct pathway for independent journalists to serve their audiences through the app.
As part of its initial push, Meta allocated $5 million in funding for local publications to convert to Bulletin instead.
And it sort of worked. Bulletin, at last at one stage, supported over 115 publications, with more than half of the creators on the platform reaching over 1,000 subscribers.
But this year, amid tougher market conditions, Meta lost interest.
The company has been gradually scaling back its investment in news and original content in recent months. Back in July, The Wall Street Journal reported that Meta had reallocated resources from both its Facebook News tab and Bulletin, in order to ‘heighten their focus on building a more robust Creator economy’
In other words, Reels – Meta’s main investment focus for the future of the Creator Economy is short-form video content, which drives more views, more engagement, and is the big trend that Meta’s chasing right now.
As a result, Meta says that it will shut down Bulletin by early next year.
As per Meta:
“Bulletin has allowed us to learn about the relationship between Creators and their audiences and how to better support them in building their community on Facebook. While this off-platform product itself is ending, we remain committed to supporting these and other Creators’ success and growth on our platform.”
So long as they create Reels, I guess.
Again, the decision here is no surprise, but it does serve as another reminder that Meta chases whatever trends it can, and it has no real, long-term commitment on any of its new pushes.
Video is the thing, as it has been several times before, and Meta will keep pushing that till audiences lose interest. Then it’ll be something else that Meta’s pitching to brands, publishers, users, etc.
Logically, Meta follows the latest trends in order to maximize the benefit of such within its tools. But it is worth noting that, when it does lose interest, it tends to move on entirely, leaving anyone who’s invested in its last whim out in the cold.
Overall, Bulletin isn’t huge, and it won’t impact a heap of writers and publishers, as such. But even so, for those that have invested in the platform, in good faith, it’s a bitter pill, and while they will now be able to move on to other platforms as well, it’s good to remind yourself that Meta chases trends, and moves on quick.
‘Don’t build on rented land’. ‘Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket’. Don’t trust social platforms to keep supporting that feature or platform that you’ve come to rely on.
The closure of Bulletin may seem like a side note to many, but it’s an important reminder that you need to diversify your strategy to avoid such impacts.
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