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Project Overview

The Digital Lab was tasked to assess new platforms for distributing regionally tailored content directly to the general public. The Lab team conducted in-depth discovery research and proposed a solution that leverages WhatsApp as a distribution channel for content.

To test the effectiveness of WhatsApp, the Digital Lab partnered with the U.S. Consulate Ciudad Juarez to conduct a pilot for leveraging WhatsApp as a new distribution channel to provide the general public with current events, digital stories, and news information on global/regional issues directly to their phones in their local language.

Through the WhatsApp pilot, Ciudad Juarez was able to successfully create the first verified WhatsApp Channel at the U.S. Department of State, and distributed content on migration directly to their target audience.

Additionally, the Digital Lab consolidated the Discovery findings and drafted two articles for WhatsApp to equip Posts with the information they need to best leverage WhatsApp as a distribution channel.

These articles can be found on the Department’s internal Social Media Hub website; a one stop hub for best practices, how-to’s, and other resources. They discuss WhatsApp best practices, market insights, as well as technical guidance for WhatsApp Business, based on Digital Lab’s extensive technical and market research findings.