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The WhatsApp Data Importer for NodeXL Pro

WhatsApp is a widely used personal messenger application owned by Meta.  WhatsApp allows people to form chats with one or more people.  WhatsApp chats can grow to include large numbers of participants, effectively becoming semi-public group discussions. In some cases, these discussions can be the focus of collective action with civic impact.

In contrast with other forms of social media platforms, WhatsApp chats are more under the control of their authors and members, since people can be selectively invited in and removed by the chat owner. WhatsApp chats may be less discoverable than discussions on other social media platforms that have global search features, but this absence may be a feature as much as a bug, providing a social boundary that is crossed only through invitations from existing members.

Getting Started:

Depending on the WhatsApp version you are using, you are able to export any group chat, by tapping on the chat name and then accessing the Group Info page. Scroll to the bottom of this page to get to the option “Export Chat”. In other cases, you are able to tap on the three dots at the top right of a chat and then select “More – Export Chat”. After exporting the chat will be saved as a .txt file which will be imported into NodeXL in the next step.

To analyze a WhatsApp chat network in NodeXL Pro:

  1. Select NodeXL > Data > Import > …From WhatsApp (Beta):
  2. Click the Browse button and locate the WhatsApp text file on your local hard drive.
  3. Select edge creation options in the “Add an edge for each” section.
  4. Click OK.
NodeXL Pro WhatsApp Data Importer

Edge creation:

NodeXL’s new WhatsApp chat data importer transforms your chat exports into networks, showcasing the relationships and interactions based on

  1. Consecutive Comments: Comments that follow each other tell a story. By charting these consecutive remarks, the importer maps the flow of conversations, revealing who interacts after whom and highlighting the central figures in a discussion.
  2. Mentions: Mentions (@username) direct comments towards specific individuals. Tracking these mentions unveils the chat’s nexus points, the people who are most often engaged, and the topics that stir the most interaction.


  • The data does not include reactions to messages such as emojis.
  • The Mentions are always based on the mentioned user’s phone number, not the actual name that is saved in a phone’s address book. This leads to multiple vertex names for one user.
  • Different date and time formats across the globe may lead to problems during data import. Please send your bug report including the txt file to

Expert tip:

Learn about Task automation and use one of the the data recipes to generate a network report and map: “WhatsApp User Network.NodeXLOptions”

NodeXL Workbook Overview

Get Started with NodeXL Today!

Whether you’re an academic researcher diving into the intricate world of online interactions or a business aiming to unravel the vast web of social connections relevant to your brand, NodeXL with its diverse importers is your go-to solution. Experience the power of network analysis tailored to your needs.

Feedback and Support: We continuously strive to enhance our tools. Should you have feedback or require assistance, contact our support team.

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