BI WhatsApp: shutting down on 7 December

On 7 December 2019, the Business Insider South Africa morning WhatsApp newsletter will shut down.

This is not by our choice, not even remotely. We have put a lot of sweat and soul into the newsletter, and it has proven wildly successful among our readers. But WhatsApp is making changes on its side that makes it impossible for us to keep it going in its current form.

We are moving instead to a newsletter that will be pushed via the News24 mobile app every weekday morning. That version is available right now, and you can sign up here.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Why are you shutting down the WhatsApp newsletter?

WhatsApp is making changes to the way it treats bulk messages, which means we will not be able to send our morning newsletter after 7 December 2019.

What are these changes WhatsApp is making?

WhatsApp is tightening up its rules on bulk messaging – and it is treating the newsletter you signed up for exactly the same as it does spam. Starting on 7 December 2019, the company intends to use both technological means and legal action to stop bulk messages being sent.

Why can't you just keep sending me the newsletter? I give you permission to send it to me.

Unfortunately this is not about consent. WhatsApp has forbidden bulk messages of all kind. There is nothing we – or you – can do to convince it that you want to receive our newsletter.

Does this mean I won't be able to read the Business Insider South Africa website?

Nothing changes on our website, or in your access to our website. This affects only the morning newsletter we send out via WhatsApp, so you won't have those links so easily to hand.

Is there a way to keep receiving your news in the morning?

We're so glad you asked. We've created a way you can keep receiving our newsletter, just using the News24 app instead of Whatsapp. We'll send you a notification every morning, which will point you to a special web page that will be a slightly better version of the old newsletter.

For instructions on how to keep getting our updates, click here.

Is there any other way to keep in touch with the stuff you are doing?

If you liked the morning newsletter, we strongly recommend you try the app version for the same experience. The next best thing is to follow us on Twitter, and if you like our page on Facebook you have a better chance of seeing what we post there.

I don't want another app, I don't use Twitter, and Facebook sucks. Now what?

We sympathise, we really do, but there is nothing else we can do for you. If WhatsApp ever changes its policy position on newsletters, we may try to revive the old newsletter. But, honestly, once bitten twice shy. 

I'm angry about this. Who can I shout at?

You can reach WhatsApp's support desk via its contact page.

Why are you using the News24 app? Why isn't there a Business Insider South Africa app?

Business Insider SA is part of the News24 stable. The News24 app will work for our purposes without us having to build a new one, or you having to install an extra one – and we know where their developers live in case something goes wrong.

WhatsApp says nothing is changing. Why are you saying different?

The way you as a private individual use WhatsApp will not change on 7 December. And WhatsApp is not changing its terms of service either. It is simply starting to enforce parts of its terms that we, and WhatsApp itself, and its official partners (one of which we pay a monthly fee) have long ignored as the platform evolved.

That enforcement is intended to make WhatsApp a more pure platform for personal communication – where the likes of us don't send messages to groups of people.

Isn't there some kind of technical workaround you can use to keep sending the WhatApp newsletter?

Even if we could find a technical way around the rules, we wouldn't use it. We are obliged to abide by the terms of service of the platform.

Will I be able to chat to you on the News24 app, the way I do on WhatsApp?

Sadly no, we will be losing the ability to chat in real time. Honestly though, we were having a hard time keeping up with messages from readers on WhatsApp, as much as we tried to check in often.

You can always reach us by email, though, on We also love to hear your feedback via Twitter.