By now, everyone’s aware of Whatsapp’s new policy. To many, this update came as a surprise. Billions of users worldwide have trusted Whatsapp, for their daily communications. But they now feel betrayed and taken advantage of, by the company’s willingness to make their data available for commercial use.
Now, more than ever, people are concerned about their privacy. They see a huge problem with this big step taken by the company. According to the policy that’s to be implemented by February, all of Whatsapp’s data would be shared with Facebook (and basically advertisers or buyers). The problem is that it’s not even vague data. There’s a list of very specific and very private details, that will be provided to whomever’s willing to pay the right amount.
This can be a dangerous thing. Data can very easily fall into the hands of, or be sold to, potentially harmful entities. But why is Whatsapp doing this all of a sudden? Everything seemed to be going smooth. Everything appeared to be on the right track. To the average consumer, Whatsapp was just an app that let them send texts. The sudden shift feels forced and confusing.
The answer is right in front you, when you launch the app. A few months ago, you may have noticed a difference when launching Whatsapp and Instagram. It now says “From Facebook”, on the splash screen. That’s the catch. It’s a free service, that has no earnings whatsoever. The business model doesn’t add up. There’s no money stream for the developers. But Facebook paid Billions to acquire it, and kept it free. How?
Because this was probably their long term plan, all along. They didn’t want to provide you a free service. Facebook wanted your data. Whatsapp was an established platform, with a high number of users. It was a data treasure house. You buy Whatsapp, and that data’s all yours. This policy was the final step in establishing, that data is indeed their biggest priority over anything else. Of course Whatsapp has always shared data with Facebook. But they’ve now taken out the option they provided users to ‘opt out’ of sharing their data.
But they probably didn’t expect people, to retaliate this hard. Facebook had probably expected that users would see this, as any normal update and move on with their lives. But they didn’t. There’s a huge outrage against the social media giants’ decision. Nobody seems pleased with the move, and people are switching to other platforms.
This can indeed prove to be a game changer. There are various platforms out there today. But among them all, two apps are being discussed more than others. These are:
These options seems lucrative to people for the following reasons:
- Free Application
- Enhanced Privacy Measures
- Open Source Code
- There’s No Threat About Selling Your Data, If You Use The Platforms
There’s going be a big number of people making the switch. But then, what if a majority of Whatsapp users do? They probably will, or probably won’t. Nobody’s completely sure right now. But the current atmosphere does speak for itself. There’s a very real possibility of Whatsapp losing its biggest audiences.
But then the question that remains is… what if it does? What’s Facebook’s strategy if that happens? Had they even anticipated this? What will be their next move? This is quite a curious thing to think about. We’re looking forward to see what happens in the coming days, and how it impacts the messaging service industry. Hopefully, whatever comes out of this incident, is better for the consumers and not the other way around.