The Washington Post today launched a WhatsApp channel dedicated to its coverage of India’s six-week national election. New Delhi Bureau Chief Joanna Slater and Correspondent Niha Masih will take people behind the scenes of their reporting and share regular updates on the election. Users who opt in to the channel will also be able to engage directly with Slater and Masih.

The Post has conducted similar experiments on WhatsApp and other key messaging platforms, most recently on the German elections in 2017 and later, on the future of the European Union.

“Millions around the world use messaging apps as a way to discover and share news. As we did in our last projects, we want to experiment with meeting people where they already consume news by giving them reliable updates and an opportunity to engage directly with Post correspondents covering a consequential election followed by so many internationally,” said Jennifer Hassan, social media editor for The Post’s Foreign desk.”

How it works

Using MessengerPeople as our service provider, updates are available in English directly to your mobile device via WhatsApp. The channel launches on April 17 and will run up until the days following the election result.

How to subscribe

You can subscribe to receive updates on WhatsApp about the India election by clicking here.

Simply add the number shown as a contact in your phone and send the word “start” to activate the messages. You will receive our updates from the time you subscribe, therefore you will not be able to view any past updates.

How many updates will I receive?

We aim to send a minimum of three messages each week, and you will not receive more than two messages per day.

In the days running up to the election and as the results are revealed, you can expect an increase in frequency of updates.

Can other people message me or see my replies?

Any message you send us will be received directly and will not be seen by other people following the chat. Please note that while other subscribers won’t directly receive or be able to read your reply, we may choose to share your views and responses with our readers both online and in our reporting.

During this process, you will only receive messages from us and not any other users following the chat.

How will my phone number be used?

The Washington Post will use your phone number for the purposes of creating and distributing updates as part of our project on the Indian election. Your number will not be used in relation to any other project. You can review the privacy policy of MessengerPeople here.

How to unsubscribe

If you wish to opt out and stop receiving updates at any time, simply send us the word “stop.” This can be communicated in either upper or lowercase text.