Why we love to use WhatsApp in our research

By Matthew Bishop, February 2020

5 core reasons to use our WhatsApp tool for your next research project

In a world where people are increasingly addicted to staring at their smartphones – and I’ll admit to being one of them – the research industry needs to follow their gaze. Jigsaw has become the first agency to be approved to develop automated WhatsApp research capabilities, enabling us to generate and collect media-rich, actionable insight via this popular app.

Here are 5 reasons why we love to use WhatsApp in our research:

1.      It’s a game-changer

WhatsApp provides a solution that is mobile-friendly, quick, and familiar. Using a smartphone interface is particularly valuable when targeting younger cohorts. Millennials and Generation Z can be hard to reach, but they also happen to be the people who use WhatsApp the most in the UK – around 80% of them – making WhatsApp a game-changer in reaching these audiences.

2.      It’s easy to use

WhatsApp overcomes two big barriers of research on a smartphone:

Barrier to research on a smartphone WhatsApp solution
Unreliable internet connection WhatsApp works offline because it stores your message or media until you are connected to a reliable internet connection
Having to download a 3rd party app to take part A large portion of the UK population already have WhatsApp downloaded on their phone and use it regularly – WhatsApp tops the app charts for number of downloads and active users (stats from 2019 [1])

More importantly, people are familiar with the app, know how to use it, and are more likely to trust it over something unknown. When it comes to engagement with research activities, they are far more likely to engage (and engage regularly) with an app on their home-screen than with a ‘research app’ on the 4th screen of their phone.

3.      It’s versatile

We’re constantly finding new uses for our WhatsApp tool.

So far, we have used our WhatsApp offering as: an online qualitative tool for deep, longitudinal conversations; a way to reach lots of people quickly for ‘qual at scale’; where people upload photos and videos in real time for in-the-moment feedback.

4.      It’s multimedia

Sharing video, photo and voice content is one of the big strengths of WhatsApp. It adds a huge level of depth to people’s answers and allows them to easily record and send content. Our platform Whycatcher automatically extracts the media from WhatsApp, attributes it to the relevant respondent and stores it ready for analysis through our portal.

Using media created by respondents helps us better connect with them – a great photo or video can really bring a presentation to life. When we’ve shared this content with our clients, they’ve told us that it is extremely impactful to hear things straight from the horse’s mouth.

If you’re feeling more experimental, you can also encourage respondents to use emojis in their answers, to better communicate the emotions they’re feeling.

5.      It’s integrated

Best of all – for us as researchers at least – is that we’ve linked WhatsApp with our Whycatcher platform. This means that we’re able to manage everything through the platform, making set up, moderation and analysis easier, cheaper, and faster.


Find out more

Why not give our WhatsApp tool a try? Please fill in the form to receive a demo of our WhatsApp tool, please provide your WhatsApp number and select ‘Yes’ under the ‘Send me a demo invitation’ heading.

Whycatcher WhatsApp Demo Survey



[1] https://wearesocial.com/uk/digital-in-the-uk