Beeminder Forum

Beeminding chat metadata from whatsapp

Hello, this is my first post here - please let me know if it’s in the wrong place!

This is pretty nerdy, but I’m interested in the idea of tracking (and possibly beeminding) the way I keep in touch with my friends on whatsapp. My ‘problem’ is that I often find myself not checking in with someone for months. It would be nice to have some sort of dashboard to give me an overview of how well I’m doing at keeping in touch, with prompts for which people to message soon.

My ‘solution’ would involve a spreadsheet with a row for each friend, and a field for the date that I last messaged that friend. If I could get to that point, hooking it up to a dashboard and/or to beeminder would be simple enough. But I don’t know how practical it is to pull this data from the whatsapp system? It seems there are various tools to export and even scrape data from whatsapp, but it seems they are mainly focused on the textual data itself rather than the latest date for each conversation.

I’d be grateful to hear if anyone has any ideas for taking this further, or any alternative solutions to the same problem. Thanks in advance!



I have bunch of ping_$PERSON goals that I fill manually with +1 datapoint when I meaningfully contacted given person.

So far it was the biggest Beeminder success for me, I strongly encourage everyone to try it. For example I feel that ping_father goal actually significantly helped our relationship.

In my case I was not even trying to couple it with specific app as I track only meaningful contact that I initiated, with any method of contact allowed, what is not doable in an automatic way.

For whatsapp I would not expect any API, as it is part of closed garden belonging to FB.


I love @beeminder_user’s approach of just starting with the most dirt simple manual thing. (Of course I also love @fwoodcock’s approach of seeking the slickest, most automated possible thing.)

(Also that’s pretty wonderful to hear about your relationship with your father, @beeminder_user!)

Thanks for responding!

I will follow your recommendation and experiment with something manual. I am trying to encourage myself to keep in touch with people outside of my core relationships, so I am hesitant to make a distinct goal for every relevant person. I am also cautious about a manual approach in case it just adds more friction onto the process of messaging someone, but it’s worth trying! Perhaps I will experiment with a generic goal to message a new person every few days, and see how it goes.

Agree that whatsapp won’t have anything as slick as an api, but some web forums do seem to suggest that there are ways of accessing your own data (one possibility mentioned using selenium to automate exports from whatsapp web, but I think modifying that to fit my requirements is beyond my current ability level).

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Thought I’d post a quick follow-up to share my experience with this. I did set up the generic manual goal to message someone a few times a week, and it has nudged me more in the direction of keeping in touch, so I’m happy with the result.

It isn’t perfect, because ideally I’d like to have reminders along the lines of “you haven’t spoken to X since Y”. But for me the simple approach has been better than nothing :slight_smile:

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