How we built a chat community for our users in 30 minutes
We wanted to increase user engagement by providing them a chat platform to ask, connect and share their experiences and interact with would-be-moms sharing a similar journey, make new friends and get expert advice. Being a startup with a small team, you can’t afford to do a lot of things at the same time, hence you always look out for hacks to validate your hypothesis before even building it.
WhatsApp has 1 Billion active users worldwide across 109 countries sending 42 Bn messages/day, 72% of whom are on Android. One of the recent features of WhatsApp allows an admin of a group invite someone just by sharing the link. You don’t need to add them to your contact book and then to a particular group. This made us thinking.
We wanted to provide a chat platform to our users and nothing could have been better than doing a proof-of-concept over WhatsApp.
This is how we did it in 30 minutes
1. Our users signup with their last period date to get relevant, verified information on a weekly basis about their pregnancy. We created 3 WhatsApp groups for three trimesters and provided a new option called Join Trimester Group in the left navigation menu.
2. On tap, we take our users to their respective trimester WhatsApp groups where they can either join or cancel. Depending on the what trimester the user falls in, the app changes the WhatsApp group invitation link on tapping Join Trimester Group.
That’s it! It just took us 30 minutes to get this feature done and roll it out to users to start getting data.
We love numbers and measure every small thing we ship to our users. We pushed this release 3 weeks back on Google Play and this is what we see in Mixpanel so far. (and this is how our community traction looks like on Mixpanel)
New joinees wanted to view the chat history in that group so that they can view what questions have already been discussed. We found a workaround for this, but outside WhatsApp.
As the users were redirected to WhatsApp, some users didn’t join the group. We had reached out to them and found out that they didn’t want their identity to being disclosed to a group of people they don’t know.
Third, they didn’t know whether the group they were about to join was a public or closed community.
No tutorials were required for our users to start interacting. Everyone knew how to use WhatsApp and its features for interacting in the groups.
60% of the users who have updated to this latest version have tapped on Join Trimester Group, which proves our hypothesis of the need of such a community. We will wait for more data, before taking a final call of building it in-house.
In order to increase the conversion rate from tap to join WhatsApp groups, we are showing a custom popup within our app mentioning that we are about to redirect them to WhatsApp and that the groups are a closed community of PregBuddy users, experts and doctors to help them out. This is how it looks:
Thanks to WhatsApp team for releasing this feature. For any queries/feedback, reach out to us at email@example.com.