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Incidental Commerce

Carla has over 300 contacts on WhatsApp and interacts with them as much as possible. She turns off the notifications while working (as a customer service representative in a furniture store), but the app has greatly improved her experience of commuting to and from her work. Before WhatsApp, she mostly listened to music and looked around, but now, in addition, she exchanges jokes, organises gatherings with friends, flirts and keeps in touch with her family. WhatsApp works better than Facebook, which is more difficult to manage on small screens. Also Carla feels that WhatsApp content is sent directly to her, while on Facebook she is forced to see whatever people want to show.

Carla regards WhatsApp as entertainment rather than using it for commercial or professional purposes. But her content tells a different story. For instance, she and a friend had just been sharing images from interior decoration magazines. Her friend planned to renovate her bedroom and Carla connected her with a carpenter who could make the wardrobe her friend wanted. This helped both sides, as the carpenter is also a friend. 

On the same day, she was having a long WhatsApp exchange with college peers. They were planning to have a gathering that weekend and wanted to have ice cream during the meet up. Carla then messaged her cousin, who owns a small ice cream shop. She even got her cousin to photograph her store showing the industrial ice cream sizes, and convinced her classmates they would be getting a better product for less money.