Expanding Horizons: Can WhatsApp Drive Inclusivity in Research?


Brand inclusivity is not new—remember that iconic advert about "buying the world a Coke" from way back in 1971? But over the past few years, it has become increasingly important for brands to reflect and appeal to diverse audiences.

As a key driver in this process, research needs to develop approaches that better connect with underrepresented or hard-to-reach populations. Traditional methods such as focus groups and interviews are great for tapping into the hearts and minds of some audiences, but can be challenging or downright alienating for others. One size really doesn’t fit all.

Used by over 68 million people in the U.S., messaging service WhatsApp offers a potential gateway for more agile, accessible and inclusive research. But does this approach actually work? During this session, Matt and Julie will share their experiences of using WhatsApp to research the under-researched—from English-as-second-language populations to introverts. They will consider the pros and cons of this approach before giving their thoughts on whether it (and other mobile qual methods) can help meet demand for greater inclusivity in research.