Published on : May 07, 2018
CEO Jan Koum, CEO of WhatsApp, one of the most popular instant messaging service, recently exitd the company with plans for an early retirement. His exit has paved the way for Facebook, who paid $19bn for the service, to target the users of the instant messaging application. While Koum and Acton ensured that WhatsApp was provided end-to-end encryption, new terms and conditions were introduced to allow access of phone numbers to Facebook- unless users opted out from it manually.
So the news of Koum leaving WhatsApp allows free meat to Facebook’s targeted advertisement alogorithms, compromising on user data privacy. There were reports of differences between Zuckerberg and Koum in regards to encryption of messages and privacy. Koum’s departure strongly smells of the arrival of targeted advertisements on the platform. With over 1.2 billion users globally, the instant messaging app can be a significant fodder to Facebook advertisements. This is nearly twice the number of Messenger users. WhatsApp, unlike Messenger and Instagram, was one of the only applications shielded from targeted advertising, and that seems to be changing soon.
On these lines, WhatsApp is currently working hard to make the application more user friendly, and the popularity of the app is growing each passing. After the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has avowed to change their strategy on handling personal data. We will thus have to wait and watch how Koum’s exit plays out with Facebook’s new promise, and WhatsApp’s space.