WhatsApp business use has outstripped that of Microsoft Office 365 as the most widely used enterprise application, according to a new survey by research house CCS Insight.
In the survey (which had an admittedly small sample size of 672 employees across US and Western European businesses) some 30 percent described WhatsApp as their most commonly used business application; 29 percent said Office 365.
CCS Insight said: “The advent of features such as conference and video calling, and the launch of WhatsApp Business in early 2018, which allows small business owners to communicate with customers, are likely to have reinforced the trend.”
“Don’t Touch my Laptop”
In other findings, the CCS survey found that two-thirds of respondents said they are generally unconcerned about their privacy at work, because they trust their employer.
However, any attempts by their employer to increase security or monitoring can expect to meet strong resistance, with 74 percent of employees in large organisations objecting to being forced to install software on a personal device for work purposes.
That finding comes amid a rise in both productivity and cybersecurity monitoring tools that operate in large part on analysis of end-user behaviours.
Finding Follows Launch of WhatsApp Business API Client
The research comes 12 weeks after Facebook-owned WhatsApp published an API for businesses.
This allows them to run a WhatsApp Business API Client; either on their own servers, or via Amazon Web Services (AWS), with the ability to push out up to 15 messages per second to customers.
The messages cost between 0.5 cents to 9 cents (0.3p to 7p) a message, depending which country the user is in. They can be automated or written and sent manually.
The service runs on Docker and can be deployed on an in-house server via Docker Compose, or run through AWS. MySQL is the officially supported database engine. It represents the first effort by Facebook to monetise the ad-free app.
CCS Insight Survey: Other Findings
In other findings from the survey, 60 percent of respondents are worried artificial intelligence will “take their jobs”.
Despite this, employees are ready to embrace digital assistants, with almost half of respondents expecting them to be widespread in the workplace within 12 months, the survey found.
The survey revealed Microsoft as the brand that employees trust to protect their data with 45 percent of responses, followed by Google; the clear leader among millennials.