WhatsApp is spending big on newspaper ads asking users to stay

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Image Credit: Independent

Facebook is embarking on a massive campaign to convince users not to leave WhatsApp. According to Reuters, the social media giant is investing heavily on newspaper ads asking people to rethink their decision to leave its chat app.

WhatsApp is facing a massive backlash from millions of users across the globe after it updated its privacy policy. The new privacy policy allows it to share user data with its parent company Facebook. India is one of WhatsApp’s biggest markets, and this recent update is already affecting its popularity in the country. Facebook gave its users up to 8 February to accept its new privacy policy or lose access to WhatsApp.

The company is taking full-page adverts in India’s newspapers—the advert reads:

“WhatsApp cannot see your private messages or hear your calls, and neither can Facebook: Every private message, photo, video, voice message, and document you send to your friends, family, and co-workers in one-on-one or group chats is protected by end-to-end encryption,” the message reads. “It stays between you.”

In another of the newspaper ad, Facebook said: “Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA.” This sounds like a desperate attempt at salvaging a bad situation as a result of the backlash.

Shortly after WhatsApp introduced the new policy, millions of users started switching from the chat app to Signal. In India, Signal was the most downloaded free chat app both on iOS and Android. Between January 5 and January 12, Signal recorded more than 7 million downloads.

Telegram, WhatsApp’s biggest rival in India, had a 40 percent surge in downloads. In contrast, WhatsApp recorded a 30 percent drop in download during the same period in review.

Durov Pavel owner of Telegram in a channel message said:

“In the first week of January, Telegram surpassed 500 million monthly active users. After that it kept growing: 25 million new users joined Telegram in the last 72 hours alone. These new users came from across the globe – 38% from Asia, 27% from Europe, 21% from Latin America and 8% from MENA.

“This is a significant increase compared to last year, when 1.5M new users signed up every day. We’ve had surges of downloads before, throughout our 7-year history of protecting user privacy. But this time is different.”

How far Facebook’s attempt at saving face goes remains anyone’s guess; but these are surely trying times for the social media giant and its chat app WhatsApp. With the new privacy feature, however, there is only one winner—the other chat apps like Signal and Telegram.

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Author: Ola Ric

Ola Ric is a professional tech writer. He has written and provided tons of published articles for professionals and private individuals. He is also a social commentator and analyst, with relevant experience in the use of social media services.

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