WhatsApp Marketing: A Study on WhatsApp Brand Communication and the Role of Trust in Self-Disclosure

Brahim Zarouali, Anna Brosius, Natali Helberger, Claes H. de Vreese


Recently, WhatsApp allowed commercial brands to initiate private chat conversations with users through their direct messaging platform. With more than 1 billion users, it is important to have insights into their trust in brands on WhatsApp, as well as their willingness to disclose personal information to these brands. Using data from a national representative survey, we find that the perceived security, perceived privacy, and perceived socialness of WhatsApp as a platform are positively associated with trusting brands on that messaging platform. In turn, brand trust positively influences consumers’ intentions to disclose information to brands on WhatsApp. Finally, these results are also compared with Facebook Messenger; there are significant differences between the two messaging platforms.


WhatsApp, brands, trust, self-disclosure, data protection

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