Needless to add, accepting the new policy is mandatory to use WhatsApp. In case WhatsApp users refuse to accept the new policy, the app will stop functioning for them.
— Rivmark (@RivmarkM) February 19, 2021
The official WhatsApp blog reads: “In the coming weeks, we’ll display a banner in WhatsApp providing more information that people can read at their own pace. We’ve also included more information to try and address concerns we’re hearing. Eventually, we’ll start reminding people to review and accept these updates to keep using WhatsApp.”
Facebook has attested that the update is focused on allowing users to message businesses. Moreover, it will not affect personal conversations. Chats will continue to have end-to-end encryption.
Facebook is reinitiating the rollout of the exact same policy. The company has been running a multi-platform and multimedia campaign to “raise awareness” about the new WhatsApp policy.
A WhatsApp spokesperson confirmed that users will have to agree to the new terms by May 15, when the new policy goes into effect.
‘Committed to privacy’ WhatsApp announces updated policy https://t.co/Vj9Vm5MT8g
— News89 Media (@news89com) February 19, 2021
It is amply clear that Facebook wants to monetize one of its largest acquisitions. WhatsApp cost Facebook about $19 Billion in cash and stock options.
The social media giant has already expanded WhatsApp’s business messaging tools and the added new shopping features. The new terms imply Facebook’s role in enabling these interactions. As The New York Times pointed out last month, this could result in interactions with businesses on WhatsApp influencing the ads users see on Facebook.
— Plat4om (@Plat4omLive) February 19, 2021
Facebook already collects a lot of information from WhatsApp. Hence, the policy update isn’t a surprise. Nonetheless, the update fueled a massive exodus.
Users migrated to competing platforms such as Signal and Telegram in droves. In fact, Telegram shot in popularity and became one of the most download apps.