In a twist that shocked them out of their wits, users opted to delete the app. The mass exodus benefited competitor companies Signal and Telegram, pushing Whatsapp to the fifth position among the most downloaded apps in 2021. Telegram took first place and Signal, a new entrant to the top ten, took third.
However, Whatsapp also allows private users to message Whatsapp business numbers. This is where the whole issue arises. Whatsapp Business messages are not extended the same protections as Whatsapp private messages.
The Facebook owned app says it will eventually ask users to accept the update to continue using the app.
Whatsapp further explained that Business owners pay for the right to use the app to reach customers, and that is how they are able to provide it for free. Apart from sharing your personal details such as phone number and profile photos with Facebook for friend recommendations, the company says everything remains as private as ever.
Whatsapp’s new attempt to explain the policy update was somewhat apologetic, owning up to the fact that they had not explained the update well enough to users. It also took jabs at its competitors for taking advantage of the confusion to lure customers when messages on their apps are not end-to-end encrypted.
“During this time, we understand some people may check out other apps to see what they have to offer. We’ve seen some of our competitors try to get away with claiming they can’t see people’s messages — if an app doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption by default that means they can read your messages.” Whatsapp explained.
“Other apps say they’re better because they know even less information than WhatsApp. We believe people are looking for apps to be both reliable and safe, even if that requires WhatsApp having some limited data. We strive to be thoughtful on the decisions we make and we’ll continue to develop new ways of meeting these responsibilities with less information, not more.”