When Facebook bought WhatsApp for a cool $19 billion in 2014, Zuckerberg was acquiring a company that had famously promised never to introduce advertising or gather massive amounts of data from its users.
Mark Zuckerberg talks a big game when it comes to giving users what they want and serving the ‘community’ — but when push comes to shove, the Facebook CEO always follows the dollar signs in his eyes over user satisfaction.
Now, users are threatening to delete their WhatsApp accounts, and switch to a rival service such as Telegram or Signal, after Facebook confirmed the plans and released some rather unpalatable sample images of how exactly ads will appear on the messaging platform.
The ads are expected to appear in the app’s ‘Status’ section at some point in 2020 — and pretty much no one is happy about it.
It’s not just the inconvenience that users are worried about. There are concerns that the new feature could undermine user privacy, since end-to-end encryption was another core feature of WhatsApp pre-Zuckerberg.
Democratic presidential contenders Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have both called out the anti-competitive mergers undertaken by monopolies like Facebook, Amazon and Google and called for regulators to do more prevent huge corporations from having too much power over their customers and users.
A study conducted earlier this year revealed that users are ditching Facebook in their droves. The platform, it found, lost an estimated 15 million users in the last two years.
Worryingly for the Menlo Park-based company, the biggest drop was observed in the 12-34 year-old category!
WhatsApp ads might be a last straw for some, but if it wants to avoid provoking a mass exodus of users across its platforms, Facebook should be wary of enraging its users one-too-many times.
After all, Facebook is a near-monopoly that Hughes warned has the power to simply shut down any emerging competitor by either “acquiring, blocking or copying it.”
Soon all Western products will be replaced by BRICS products. WeChat (Chinese), Telegram (Russian) are pretty real today with a lot of users.
RT. com / Flash Point Cyber News 2019.