WhatsApp Using ‘Status Messages’ to Update Users About New Privacy Policy

There has been much confusion and misinformation among WhatsApp users with regards to the recent update and WhatsApp is striving to bring some clarity on this matter. Users across the globe were left confused for a while and were having difficulties understanding the new privacy policy and facts behind how its helps to protect user privacy. Recently, WhatsApp implemented a new way to communicate with its users regarding resolving ongoing confusion by providing updates in the ‘Status tab’ so that users can listen to an audio message directly from WhatsApp. The company offered reassurances that personal messages cannot be seen by WhatsApp or Facebook, and can only be accessed by the relevant users, as the conversations are protected by end-to-end encryption.

WhatsApp has been facing customer churn as some users have started exploring other messaging apps including Signal and Telegram among others, due to the new privacy policies. The company has implemented the idea of using status messages in various countries including India, USA, and the UK. Among the various status messages used recently by WhatsApp one read, ‘One thing that is not new is our commitment to your privacy’. These status messages can be seen on top of all the messages or conversations of a user’s contacts. The objective was to send across a clear message and ensure it stayed in the view of its users for a long time.

The company has also alleviated concerns that personal conversations are being linked to Facebook, and reiterated that the policy does not state any such thing. WhatsApp is focusing on using status messages to clear the misconceptions by giving correct information and explanation about the policies. However, this is not stopping users from switching to other messaging apps, as they believe these are safer than using WhatsApp. Taking a hint about possible outcomes of implementation of the new policies, the company had held back on rolling out its new privacy policy and terms of service, but eventually introduced it.

It has been reported that over 70% of users are reconsidering whether to continue using WhatsApp, while the remaining are determined to leave the platform once the new privacy policy comes into effect. Many users are annoyed and not willing to trust WhatsApp once more due to breach of trust. Surveys indicate that Telegram is a more preferred messenger than Signal, despite all promising policies offered by the latter. Telegram messenger appears to be a rather robust platform considering its roots. Telegram messenger was founded by a Russian entrepreneur, and the record-shattering growth of the company seen over the last few days is posing challenge to WhatsApp.

Telegram stated that it had surpassed 500 million monthly active users in the first week of January, and that user base continued to expand exponentially with 25 million new users joining Telegram in 72 hours thereafter. The new users include 38% from Asia, 27% from Europe, 21% from Latin America, and 8% from MENA. At this rate, it seems like Telegram is on a robust path to becoming a force to reckon with, and WhatsApp may have to do a lot more to woo its users and convince them to stay aboard its messenger platform going ahead.

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