Are scheduled messages on WhatsApp possible?

I’m pretty sure that most of you use WhatsApp on a daily basis and come up with some ideas of features that could improve this app. I’m one of you guys! During my use of WhatsApp I was thinking to myself how crazy would it be if we could schedule messages. This feature can be very useful! As a product designer, I found a way to embed the message scheduling feature on WhatsApp.

Where can this feature help us?

Let’s take an example. If you’re feeling sick at 1:00 am and want to notify your boss that you will not arrive in the morning for work, chances are that you will not message them at nighttime to notify them that you’re not going the next day. You will get up early in the morning especially to update them that you won’t get to work. Let’s agree- that sucks. Like this scenario I’m sure that some other examples come up to your mind. In that case, if this feature really existed, I would have scheduled a 6:00 am message that would inform my boss that I feel sick and won’t be going to work. Genius, right?

But will this create a confusion in messaging?

So, I thought about that too. There will be a limit to the message scheduling. You won’t be able to schedule a message for another six months or even for two weeks from now. Message scheduling will be limited for only one week forward. That’s how we can resolve confusion in messaging.

Before I started the feature design, I drew a sketch of the way I thought it should be seen

A bit of Data

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I asked about 50 people if this feature could be useful and helpful for them and 45 people of them said that it would surely help them! They gave me some examples of the various ways this feature would help them:

“If I want to send my shifts to my workplace a day or two before we have to submit them, so it would be great for me if WhatsApp would have this feature and I would be able to schedule the message and not to forget to send it early.”

5 of those people told me that they don’t think this feature is necessary. One of them said that:

“Once that feature will be able you will have to check if this person messaged you now or scheduled the message and it will create frustration and confusion.”

Here’s the example I designed to illustrate my feature idea

First screen

The usual WhatsApp screenplay that we all know.

Second screen

As you type you can see that I’ve added a “Clock” icon that when pressing on it you will be able to schedule your message.

Third screen

Here we basically select the date and time we want to schedule our message.

Fourth screen

As you can see, there is a message that lets us know when exactly the message will be sent. Changed your mind? Regret? There is an “X” icon to cancel the scheduled message. Also, in order to not create extra confusion, I replaced the sending icon to a “V” icon so people could see and verify that their message is scheduled correctly. That way there will be a separation between regular message and scheduled message.

Fifth screen

As you can see, the message was sent and the color of the message bubble changed into another color. The changed color announces that this is a scheduled message and it will send it just as we set it up.

An illustration video I made for illustrate the process

In conclusion

I really do think that it might be a really good idea and that WhatsApp will certainly create this feature in the future. It really can make our lives so much easier. Think about it. When I told people that are close to me about this feature that I supposedly wat to add to WhatsApp everyone agreed with me and said that this is a must-have-feature. It was a real challenge to get this feature into WhatsApp and I think I did a pretty good job.

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