Many people are concerned about WhatsApp’s new terms of service which are being updated to allow more user data to be shared with Facebook. WhatsApp also mandated that users accept this new policy by February 8 or lose access to their accounts.
A number of high profile names then shared their thoughts on the situation, including Elon Musk who simply tweeted “Use Signal”. Which is exactly what people did. The New York Times reported millions of people flocking to Telegram and Signal in response to these new policies from WhatsApp.
How WhatsApp is trying to stop users from fleeing
Thank you to everyone who’s reached out. We're still working to counter any confusion by communicating directly with @WhatsApp users. No one will have their account suspended or deleted on Feb 8 and we’ll be moving back our business plans until after May – https://t.co/H3DeSS0QfO
— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) January 15, 2021
The company has also tried to address some of the confusion around its new terms, which actually relate more to using WhatsApp for shopping purposes rather than sharing users’ personal chats with Facebook. Tweets and an FAQ page have since been released to try and reinforce this message.
We want to address some rumors and be 100% clear we continue to protect your private messages with end-to-end encryption. pic.twitter.com/6qDnzQ98MP
— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) January 12, 2021
WhatsApp has gone even further in markets like India, where more than 400 million users are on the messaging service. Reuters reports that WhatsApp has pushed a marketing campaign into 10 English and Hindi newspapers, with large ads on the front pages and headlines such as “WhatsApp respects and protects your privacy”.
These tactics are all an effort to clear up some of the questions around WhatsApp’s new policy. The deadline push gives users more time to ponder these new terms of service and it gives WhatsApp the chance to set the record straight.