Written by Kavya W
Research indicated that WhatsApp usage increased by 41% globally during the 2020 pandemic. According to the report, there was an overall increase in the consumption of news, social media and traditional news viewing during the period.
WhatsApp clearly, changed the idea of communication all over the world. An app that was started by two ex-Yahoo employees, quickly catapulted to success, thanks to its yearly updates and user-friendly navigation. The app graduated from being a social communication platform to becoming an integral part of community engagement. The latest support came in the form of new moms or baby boomers who used this networking app for building an inclusive community of their own. India has had the highest number of births during the first wave of the pandemic, making its count close to 20 million. WhatsApp, then, has not only helped build a community for these baby boomers but has also aided in providing telemedicine solutions at the comfort of home.
According to a Poocho study, WhatsApp has helped new mothers access localised solutions, get friendly advice from fellow new moms and also seek doctors suggestions easily and for free.
Sneha Waghela, who has been a paediatrician in Mumbai for over six years, agrees, “WhatsApp usage has doubled during the pandemic. It is a great way to communicate your queries without having to run to the doctor at the drop of a hat! Hyperlocal solutions and telemedicine could be the future of doctor consultations. But as always, care should be taken as some advice (from fellow moms) can be overwhelming and should be cross-checked with an expert. One should not always rely on technology and the internet.”
Since India is the highest WhatsApp base in the world with over 400 million users in 2020, app updates and yearly additions from the company are introduced first in the market. This has given rise to the emergence of business accounts, in-app payment options and many new features that help in networking and leveraging new/small businesses, especially during the pandemic.
Ever since Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014, many new features and privacy policies have been implemented. Apart from it being a social marketplace, the hashtag finding feature and disappearing messages have only helped it gain a stronger base in the Indian market. Sure, it might not always be able to fulfil or build groups for emotional support, there are chances that it might be able to fulfil that predicament. The company launched its in-app purchase feature only last year and it has already gained popularity amongst people in India.
Furthermore, consumers will be able to make purchases within the app via Facebook shops, which is a great way for new moms to engage with others and also make informed decisions while shopping for baby products through reviews and suggestions. A recent 2021 survey by Kidstoppress.com even concluded that amongst various social media apps WhatsApp “had about 50% usage amongst Indian moms.” One of the key findings of the survey was that parents who follow a platform/ website/ influencer are "13% more likely to buy the product versus if they haven’t been recommended by an expert/ platform/trusted source.” Mansi Zaveri Founder & CEO, Kidsstoppress Media Pvt. Limited told the Indian Express, “The new age Indian mom is in a quest to give the best to her child. She is constantly searching for the best products and services.”