What's up with WhatsApp?
Facebook is about to ruin the world's largest messaging app (1.5bn monthly users) with adverts. "As far as advertising is concerned, we're definitely getting WhatsApp more open," is how its VP of messaging products, David Marcus, spun it this week.
It follows the exit of WhatsApp founder and Chief Exec Jan Koum who walked last Monday due to "privacy concerns". Uh oh.
Okay, so he sold his company to FB in 2014 in a deal worth $19 billion when WhatsApp had just $20 million revenue and was charging less than a quid for the app.
At the time he said: “Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA... If partnering with Facebook meant that we had to change our values, we wouldn’t have done it".
Perhaps Koum should have known Facebook would want its money back - then again because he was an émigré at 16 from communist Ukraine, where phones were routinely tapped, he was always totally against having data monitored the way Zuckerberg liked it.
But hey, making $10 billion changes a man. And his values - because at 42, Koum's now off to play ultimate frisbee and collect "rare air-cooled Porsches". Srsly. (Leaving us WhatsApp addicts at the mercy of Zuck's money machine.)
Apparently Facebook already harvests data from WhatsApp. Who knew? I thought 'end-to-end-encryption' (whatever that means) meant it was super private. But take a look at the fourth paragraph in this from 2016.
Maybe time to move on to another messaging app? Why not try Signal - currently there are no ads, no affiliate marketers, no creepy tracking.
Wait, what - where have we heard that before?PS Actual group calls are coming soon - up to four people will be able to jump on one WhatsApp call. Like a conference call. But with your family. *sighs*