The rise and rise of WhatsApp for real-time audience engagement

Social media will always be a perfect match with live broadcast but both broadcasters and audiences increasingly are adding WhatsApp as a way of interacting with live content. Let’s look at why!

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At Dizplai, we help broadcasters around the world turn one-way live broadcasts into an engaging, interactive experience by making it easy to integrate audience content and opinions from social media and the broadcaster’s own platforms into live graphics.

In recent years, the messaging platform WhatsApp has emerged alongside social media to become a popular way for audiences to get involved in live content. It is used by Dizplai customers such as Channel 4, QVC, BT Sport and Manchester City as a way of collecting audience comments, images and videos for use on air.

And it turns out that audiences are absolutely loving having the additional option, with stellar participation rates via WhatsApp among certain audiences. 

BT Sport features audience comments and questions from WhatsApp on air in their Premier League and Champions League coverage

So what makes WhatsApp such a good fit for audience participation? Here are 4 solid reasons: 

1. It’s popular with every demographic
Over 2 billion people worldwide use WhatsApp – which makes it the most popular messaging app in the world and it has a reach of 83% in the UK alone. Simply put, the majority of your audience, old and young, have it on their phone and know how to use it.

2. It’s a private communication
When a TV broadcaster or football club asks their audience to send in an opinion or photo, many viewers are happy to share on social media platforms but many viewers appreciate the privacy of direct and private communication with the broadcaster.

3. It’s super simple
Scan the QR code on the TV screen and you’ll be taken directly into a WhatsApp dialogue with the broadcaster’s account and presented with an introductory message. Then all you have to do is type your question/comment, answer the poll/question or attach a photo or video just as you would normally with your friends. Zero faff.

Channel 4 asks dog lovers on their Crufts coverage to send in photos and videos of their dog as well as questions for guest dog experts on the show. The call-to-action features a branded QR code on screen linking directly to WhatsApp and generated over 45,000 messages 

4. It’s a two-way thing
As a broadcaster the ability to have a direct dialogue with your audience is priceless and opens up myriad creative and commercial opportunities. To give one example, QVC Italy have thousands of opted-in WhatsApp users whom they can reach instantly at any time. Add in the ability for automated responses and the potential becomes clear. All of course while complying with WhatsApp’s Business Messaging Policy.


When Manchester City invite fans to send content to be featured on their Matchday Live show, they respond with a personalised message and image.


If you produce live content and you’d like to explore how to use WhatsApp alongside social media to get the audience involved and start a direct dialogue with them, get in touch and we’ll give you a demo of how easy it is with the Dizplai platform.

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