So yesterday in Part 1 I laid the crucial foundation without which it'd be difficult to understand how Open-In-WhatsApp app works. In that prelude, I mentioned that there is one very important WhatsApp feature many people seem not to be aware of. And that's Click-To-Chat feature.
WhatsApp is built in a way that is practically impossible to start a chat with someone you haven't manually save their contact to your phone's address book. However, with Click-To-Chat feature of WhatsApp, this hurdle is bypassed. Using Click-To-Chat feature, you can start a chat with anyone for as long as you can remember the person's phone number. This means you don't need to save the person's phone number to your phone's address book before you can begin a chart with them.
Click-To-Chat is not a tab, an icon or a button but essentially a group of formularized links. One version of such links is as given thus
<number> is the WhatsApp registered phone number of the third party. Here, the condition for starting a chart with anyone is as simple as being able to remember the person's phone number and substituting it in the
Once you have done this, just click on the link and a chat would immediately open between the person and yourself. So the task of saving the person's phone number is, by this means, bypassed. There are several versions of such links with each serving a specific purpose. All these were well discussed in the part 1.
This brings us to the essence of this Part 2:
What's Open-In-WhatsApp app & how does it relate to Click-To-Chat feature?
How to use Open-In-WhatsApp app and its benefits
Open-In-WhatsApp app & how it relates to Click-To-Chat feature
From what I have said so far, you know that Click-To-Chat feature is just a group of formularized links that allow you to start a chart with someone else without prior saving of their number to your phone book. These links are public and anyone can have access to them and use them as they wishe. As long as you can remember someone's registered WhatsApp number, you can substitute it in the appropriate field, click the link to open a chat with the person.
In the likewise manner, Open-In-WhatsApp application makes use of WhatsApp public API (Click-To-Chat) feature to allow you to start a chat with any number without having to save such number to your phone book. The formularized links of Click-To-Chat feature are factored into the programming of Open-In-WhatsApp application to automatically generate such Click-To-Chat links.
To put it simply, with respect to Click-To-Chat feature, for you to generate a link that you can click to start a chat with a third-party, you have to manually type out the given formula, say:
https://wa.me/<number> and then substitute the WhatsApp number of the third-party into the appropriate number field. With respect to Open-In-WhatsApp app, however, you don't need to type out any formula as the formula has already been programmed into the application. All you need do is to type in the specified number and click on the open button to start a chat with the person. Or better still click on the Share button to automatically generate a link that can open a chat with that specified number when clicked upon.
So with Open-In-WhatsApp application, the hurdle of having to take your time to type out the full formularized link, is bypassed. This is because the formularized link has been programmed into the app. So you don't need to type it out in full again. Just type in the number and hit a button to automatically start a chat with the number or generate a link that can open a chat with that specific number when clicked upon. It's as simple as that.
How to use Open-In-WhatsApp app and its benefits
As far as I know and have been using Open-In-WhatsApp app, the chief benefit I observe about the app is the ability to automatically open a chat with any phone number without a link, as well as being able generate Click-To-Chat link that is able to open a chat with the person when clicked upon. In either case, the app quickens the process of chatting with an unsaved number without using a Click-To-Chat link on the one hand. On the other hand, the app automates the process of generating Click-To-Chat links by eliminating the need to write out the full formularized Click-To-Chat links where there is a need for such links. So, it's not only that you don't need to save one's number to be able to start a chat with them, link for starting such a chat is either not needed at all or automatically generated if one must be used. Isn't this amazing?
Now let me give you an example why I think it is. During the activities leading to conferment of chieftaincy title on my father last December, I was given a list of his WhatsApp friends to dispatch invitations to them. The task was a difficult one because my dad isn't conversant with using WhatsApp on the one hand. On the other hand, he's the type that can never allow another person to handle his phone; not even my mom! So he manually made a list of his friend's WhatsApp contacts and handed it to me.
All entreaties to allow me to use his phone to send the invitations fell on deaf ears. Beside being my dad, he's an Ozo title holder. And, traditionally, it's forbidden to disobey or engage Ozos in an argument. Of course, these are not my friends, but my dad's. So saving their numbers to my phone's address book would only not be a good idea but also highly time-consuming.
I then remembered Open-In-WhatsApp app that I had used to populate my WhatsApp group to hold webinars in the heydays of Steemit promotion. How I used to do this was well taken care of in the Part 1.
I figured that I could use the app in two ways to send the invitations with considerable less stress. The two methods by which this could be done are:
Open method, and
Even though I found one method of doing this to be more friendly and considerably less stressful than the other, I am going to demonstrate the two methods here for purpose of education and information dissemination.
Open method without a link/pre-filled message
This method neither creates Click-To-Chat links nor supports a pre-filled message. It only automatically opens a chat between you and the person without a pre-filled message. This means that if I had chosen this method, then for each of our potential guests I'd have to chat them up to inform them about the event one after the other. The only benefit this method confers on users is being able to chat with a WhatsApp registered number without saving it to your phone book.
Follow the procedure described below to use this method.
A. Open the app and click on the displayed US flag button to select the code of your resident country. Mine is Nigeria, so I selected +234.
B. Assuming the person's phone number is 07062847304; now, just type in the number without the first letter
0 into phone field as shown in the screenshot image above by the right.
C. Click on the Open button as shown above by the left. And a chat is immediately opened between you and the person as shown by the right screenshot above.
I found this method to be very boring, time-consuming and unfriendly since one will manually have to chat each individual up to deliver the same message! Hence, I didn't use it.
Share method with link and pre-filled message
This is the method I opted for to pass the invites. I love this method for a lot of obvious reasons. For instance, using it, you can type the invitation message into the pre-filled message field, and click on the Share button to turn the invite message into a Click-To-Chat message-embedding link. You can then broadcast this link to the individual contacts of your prospective invitees. When any of your prospective invitees clicks on the link, not only that a chat would open between two of you, the message-embedding link itself would automatically change into the original invite message. This method ensures that the same message is passed to different individuals.
Follow the procedure I described below to understand how I used this method:
Assuming the invite message I was to pass around is as given thus:-
"Greetings. This is to officially invite you to the occasion of conferment of Ide Bu Dike chieftaincy title on Nze Godfrey Ifeanyi by the traditional king of Urualla community, HRH Eze Goddy Okeke on 27th Dec., 2018."
"Venue: Urualla Civic Center"
"Time: 1:00pm prompt"
Now let me show how I did mine and how you can do yours.
I. Use the method I discussed in the Open method section above to type in the person's number; say 07062847304.
II. Type the given invite message into the pre-filled message field as shown below in the screenshot image by the left.
III. Now click on the Share button to turn the invite message into a link-embedding message and send it to the specified number. The screenshot image by the right as shown above is link-embedding message on the WhatsApp wall of the specified number.
iv. The two below screenshot images are what the owner of the specified number would see once he clicks on the link-embedding message that was sent to his contact. You can see that once he clicked on the link, the link-embedding message automatically changed into the original invite message which can then be read and understood by the owner of the specified number.
Hence, the only work I was doing to be able to send the invite message to all my dad's WhatsApp contacts, was only substituting the individual WhatsApp numbers into the number field on the app. I don't have to chat up each individual to inform them. I only input his WhatsApp contact and pass the same message to them one after another until the last person! Viola!
From this review, I hope you have been able to understand the marked difference between ordinary WhatsApp's Click-To-Chat Feature and Open-In-WhatsApp app. While it's time-consuming to use the former to generate links, it is not only very quick to use the latter for the same purpose but also can be used in a more innovative way to pass the message to many people. In this case, you only need to keep changing the contacts without altering the message being shared around. This is way less arduous than having to chat up folks individually to pass the same message. I think I have done justice to this app with respect to its review.
In the Part 3 of this series, I am going to review another unique way I use this app to carry out advertisements in different internet forums. You can, on your own, follow the steps described in this review to have a test of the app.
Until then, thanks for taking your time to go through this exhausting review.
Github repository: https://github.com/SubhamTyagi/openinwa
Available for download on F-Droid
All images images used in this post were taken with my android phone, otherwise are properly sourced