Beyond social and search: Adzappr’s micro-influencing platform is taking over WhatsApp users

As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to force people at large to socially distance, it also has undeniably accelerated the dependence on digital means to conduct business. 

The advertising industry has rapidly taken cue of this by shifting their efforts into digital advertising. However, with big businesses crowding the advertising space in mainstream platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, smaller businesses have been priced out and are forced to seek alternative solutions to reach the masses.

While usage across all mainstream social media platforms has increased over the past year, data from insights and consulting firm Kantar revealed that WhatsApp is the social media app that has experienced the greatest gains due to COVID-19.

While the Facebook-owned WhatsApp is traditionally used by businesses to simply communicate with consumers, its sheer increase in usage since the pandemic first started reminds us of its mammoth reach and untapped opportunities.

Homegrown startup, Adzappr, is tapping into this very space by means of a creative solution. Leveraging the immense usership and engagement of the common WhatsApp user, the 7 month old startup has rapidly developed an ad sharing marketplace that connects the users with businesses seeking extended brand exposure to a distinctly targeted pool of audience.

By capitalising on the untapped potential of WhatsApp’s display photo (DP) as an advertising opportunity, the crowdsourced community driven platform doubles as an application that empowers personalised influencing and simplifies campaign management.

How it works is quite simple: Adzappr enables users to earn money daily by simply changing their WhatsApp profile picture to one of the approved ads on the app which is available for Android and iOS users.  For advertisers, it serves as a web platform where they can upload their company or brand’s latest ads and enable quick, reactive ad campaigns. 

“Instant messaging applications are powerful and with over 22 million connected people daily in Malaysia, WhatsApp leads the pack,” said CEO of Adzappr, Sanjay Chan. “Imagine being able to enable hundreds and thousands of WhatsApp users to switch their DP to your ad, that’s what Adzappr can do for your brand.”

For users who join Adzappr’s advertising platform, the process of participating in a campaign is easy. Upon downloading the app, users are required to get connected to Adzappr’s dedicated WhatsApp number, 016 866 4775. Then they are able to select the ad of their choice, download the image, change their WhatsApp DP and start earning. 

The team behind Adzappr. “As a homegrown team here in Malaysia, we come from different backgrounds and beliefs but in Adzappr we have the same common ground – we believe that the sky is the limit,” Sanjay (top left) said. “It is also a reminder that passion and persistence have the power to defy logic and break through boundaries regardless of our differences.

The percentage of users changing their DP on WhatsApp on a regular basis is around 60 – 65%. As people are changing their profile picture and it gains the attention of their friends and family, Adzappr is championing the cause for micro-influencers to go mainstream in advertising and helping advertisers reach their audience instantly.

“We are helping individuals and communities in strengthening their opportunities to earn while brands are able to advertise and give back to the community in a small but significant way,” Sanjay explained.

According to him, a WhatsApp user’s DP is the first thing their network notices and when a user changes it to an ad, their network of friends, family and acquaintances get to see the ad through the lens of their profile picture.

“That is powerful because it’s connected to the person’s credentials and that is how we define micro-influencing on the app,” Sanjay added.

From an advertiser’s perspective, Adzappr provides a convenient ad targeting platform designed to not burn a hole in their pockets. Even small business owners such as sellers who have been forced to go online due to the pandemic, can connect with their customers through Adzappr. After signing up by creating an advertiser account, depending on their budget, campaigns can be kick started from as low as RM 100. 

Once a campaign has been launched through the platform, advertisers can then easily access their own Adzappr dashboard to manage and mobilise active campaigns and track its progress. 

Taking into account the challenges business owners are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Adzappr is also providing advertisers with RM 200 starter ad credits completely for free when they sign up with the platform.

To find out more about Adzappr, visit or contact [email protected].

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