WhatsApp has recently rolled out its own Status feature in an attempt to allay concerns regarding its impending privacy shift.
While the update directly engages users, it does not, however, indicate whether it will reverse course on the move that has incensed them.
WhatsApp Introduces Status to Ease Privacy Concerns
The Facebook-owned messaging service – bought for $16 billion in 2014 and was poised to be a revenue vehicle for the world’s largest social media platform – announced early in January that it will be updating its privacy terms and conditions, noting it reserved the right to share some user data, including phone numbers and locations, across its other units such as Messenger and Instagram.
In line with this, the messaging platform then sent out in-app notifications, saying they had to accept the new terms by February 8 or lose access to the service.
The move drew fire from users, the industry, and even governments on fears it would cross privacy lines and also triggered a number of investigations, including from India.
This has also prompted WhatsApp users — numbering more than two billion globally — to switch to alternative apps, including Signal and Telegram.
“We’ll let you know about new features and updates here,” WhatsApp said on its first-ever Status post, adding that “one thing that isn’t new is our commitment to your privacy.”
Moreover, the platform reiterated that it “can’t read or listen to your personal conversations as they’re end-to-end encrypted”. Status messages disappear after 24 hours, a feature made popular by Snapchat.
Although the update sounds more hopeful than its previous notifications, WhatsApp has given no indication that it will reverse or delay the impending move.
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