Around 95 per cent of WhatsApp users in India received unsolicited or pesky commercial communication on the messaging app, a survey has found.
Most of these annoying messages came from people selling financial services, real estate, and health care and pathology service, or from those offering jobs or earning opportunities, said the report by social network LocalCircles. Alarmingly, the survey also found that 76 per cent of respondents were seeing such messages on WhatsApp based on their conversations with WhatsApp business accounts and Facebook and Instagram activities.
The spam messages continued even as most of the WhatsApp users surveyed were using tools like blocking or archiving. The data shows 60 per cent of the respondents reported an increase in such messages, while 16 per cent felt that there was most likely an increase. Fifty four per cent got 1-3 spam or promotional messages every day, while 30 per cent of respondents said they received 4-7 such messages.
In terms of the sectors, 73 per cent of the respondents said they received messages promoting or selling financial services; 69 per cent said they came from real estate agents or developers. Fifty eight per cent said they received messages offering jobs or earning opportunities, while 54 per cent said healthcare and pathology services reached out to them. Thirty eight per cent received offers for services like RO repair, spa, beauty.
The community-based social network surveyed over 51,000 citizens across 351 districts. Around 56 per cent of respondents were from below tier-2 cities. Thirty nine per cent were women.
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“LocalCircles will escalate the findings of this survey to relevant stakeholders like MeitY and others to intervene and work with WhatsApp so the unsolicited commercial communication on the platform can be reduced,” the platform said.