WhatsApp’s new ads could endanger your privacy

2019-05-28 14:21
WhatsApp will implement an update which will show people adverts when they use the Status feature.

WhatsApp will implement an update which will show people adverts when they use the Status feature.

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Seven years after it vowed to never introduce advertisements on the app or gather vast amounts of data on its users, WhatsApp has announced it’ll now have ads which will appear in the Status section.

“Remember, when advertising is involved you the user are the product,” the messenger app wrote in a blog post back in 2012.

“Advertising isn’t just the disruption of aesthetics, it insults your intelligence and interrupts your train of thought.

“At every company that sells ads, a significant portion of their engineering team spends their day tuning data mining, writing better code to collect all your personal data, upgrading the servers that hold all the data and making sure it’s all being logged and collated and sliced and packaged and shipped out.

“When we sat down to start our own thing three years ago [in 2009, when the app was created] we wanted to make something that wasn’t just another ad clearinghouse,” the post read.

But, as The Metro points out, this is all about to change.

In 2020 the app will implement an update which will show people adverts when they use the Status feature. According to Trak.in users will be able to view the full advertisement or any embedded link by swiping up, just like Instagram stories.

Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, who bought WhatsApp for a cool $19 billion (now R218 billion) in 2014, made the announcement at the Facebook Marketing Summit 2019 conference in Rotterdam.

However, the feature could see the app’s 1,5 billion users switch gears to rival services like Telegram messenger app.

But it seems WhatsApp won’t be deterred.

“We’re going to put ads in status updates,’” WhatsApp vice president Chris Daniels said earlier this year. “It’ll be primary monetisation mode for the company as well as an opportunity for businesses to reach people on WhatsApp.”

Sources: economictimes.indiatimes.com, trak.in, metro.co.uk

Read more on:    ad feature  |  whatsapp  |  privacy  |  instagram  |  status  |  mark zuckerberg  |  facebook marketing summit 2019  |  social media
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