Pretty much all of our school and local community communication happens via WhatsApp. I'd change to Signal or Telegram in a heartbeat, but the inertia is so great it's not possible.
It pains me to say, but we're getting to the point where companies like Twitter, Facebook and Google need to be treated like utilities or something so that such moves as these can be scrutinised and controlled more effectively as Facebook could pretty much (within current law) introduce whatever policy they like and users would be faced with the option of accepting or being cut off from their local community.
Given the pandemic and the UK lockdown, this is not tolerable.
I want to add that when I left WhatsApp (~2y ago) I deleted my account. WhatsApp kept accepting messages on my behalf. People didn't know I wasn't getting their messages. I'm surprised I don't see this mentioned to the point I wonder if I did something wrong at the time.
In the end, I reopened a WhatsApp account recently because everyone is using WhatsApp in France and I couldn't stand breaking everyone's efforts to bring us together during lockdown.
They saw 2 ticks, meaning delivered to your device? Or did they see one tick, meaning only delivered to the server?
If it's the latter, that's a reasonable choice for the server to make. The server has acknowledged receipt of the message, and failed to send it to your device.
If you wanted WhatsApp to advertise to your contacts that your account was inactive, you could have maybe sent them a message yourself?
Doing this without explicitly telling the other party is a dark pattern.
@heipei: the curse of knowledge, i learned yesterday, via https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25658216
What’s more, if you tap on “info” after long pressing any message, the app explains it to you.
Even the ones who do understand a little about the checks probably don't bother thinking about the difference between "sent" and "delivered". They'd understand it if it was pointed out to them, they aren't stupid. But they don't care enough to realize it because they shouldn't _need_ to understand it most of the time.
And even so, the checkmarks are very subtle and easy to not notice if you don't expect to need to look at them. A user is more likely to say "well it didn't give me an error so it must have sent, I wonder why nindalf is ghosting me" rather than "huh, I wonder if WhatsApp actually _delivered_ the message to nindalf, let me check"
I use it somewhat reluctantly which might reduce the degree to which I actively seek out understanding. I wish we'd all go back to vendor neutral channels of communication but I also apprecitate the fact that it is less sucky than SMS.
No it’s not a dark pattern. They’re being as transparent as possible. If you long press the message and click “info” they even explain what each tick means and when each event took place. It’s literally not possible to be more transparent than that.
And before the privacy brigade who’ve not used the app show up, this is configurable. You can opt out of sending and receiving read receipts. And since it’s a closed app with no other implementation, you can’t circumvent that either.
Anyway, my point is that WhatsApp shouldn't silently accept messages for a non existent user no matter what weak signals you get. When you send a text message to a non existent number, you get an error. Same for an e-mail.
I can't help but think it's a way to deter users from leaving WhatsApp.
As an FYI to you and anyone reading this, you can convert your account to a business account using WhatsApp for Business. It has an auto-reply feature that you can enable with a custom message, to inform people you've moved to whatever platform you've decided to move to.
You have a choice but it's a bit like voluntary solitary confinement. Especially during a lockdown.
But social media? What do I switch to?
> This is precisely the dilemma in a nutshell.
Exactly my problem too (car mechanic, plumber, school parent committee, loads of my friends …) – I need my car fixed, I need my plumbing fixed, I need to communicate with other parents. I hate that I have no choice but to use a Facebook product when I am not even on Facebook!
I can also not give up the WhatsApp account due to the social pressure. What if I would use a second phone, a cheap one, used only for the whatsapp (and some other essential but privacy invasive apps). I would not have that second phone always with me, but it would provide me access to the social network I need without feeling tracked or providing more data than needed.
I do understand that this doesn't fix exactly the issue presented here, but I already assumed that whatsapp data was already in Facebook's hands one way or another. But I would limit the amount of information that WhatsApp can track about me by having this application on a phone which does not really represent my full actions as i don't have it with me.
Edit: Corrected some typos.
If they can't be bothered to email or send an SMS to me or use Signal or video call via the multitude of alternative messaging services (Duo, FaceTime, Skype, Signal etc. etc.) I don't think they're that bothered about being my friend are they?
If their friendship hinges on me using a specific mobile app, that's a shallow friendship.
Particularly, this social capital is at its minimum when you're trying to develop new friendships. Good luck starting any when you refuse to use the app that everyone else in the area uses to communicate.
In this instance, if developing friendships relies on me sending my data to some unknown person the other side of the world so that they can build graphs on my activity and follow me around just because everyone else has decided that's what they want to do, then I would choose another path.
Wouldn't you? If not, please send me all your data and details of your activities, all the time. If you can trust that data to some guy you've never met in a datacenter, then why not send it to me. You've got my username - that's more than you'll ever know about the people looking at your data at Facebook.
No, what they said is equivalent to "everybody is smoking but I'll annoy the hell out of them so they stop, and I'll refuse to meet them in person before they quit"
I would not "choose another path" because those things are more important to me. To be blunt, I'm not sending such data to any individual HN reader because that would have no relation at all to my practical ability to maintain friendships with people in real life.
Other people are saying that in their countries, Health Services and bank transactions are coordinated via WhatsApp.
It's not just about messaging your friends, and for many people, "opting out" of WhatsApp is not a viable path.
When you sign up to any service, they ask for an email address. They don't ask for a mobile number necessarily, and there is never a "my mobile number is on WhatsApp" checkbox. Why is the assumption of the organiser that you're on WhatsApp your concern? They have assumed you're on a certain platform, and it's their mistake.
It reminds me of the tidal wave of people suddenly abandoning their own websites and instead using "Find Us On Facebook". They might as well put "Use this keyword on AOL".
Facebook is not the internet, and WhatsApp is not the only communication method.
- Use WA and participate
- Don't use WA, don't participate
- Go stand in front of the home of whoever organizes the activity and have a little one-person picket parade with angrily-worded signs -- this is the same as #2 but might make you feel better
My mind is blown.
Looking on Amazon.com, a Huawei P Smart 2019 (32GB, 3GB) 6.21" FHD+ Display, Dual Camera, 3400 mAh Battery, 4G LTE GSM Dual SIM is $209.99.
I think some have assumed that he went out and bought an iPhone 12 Pro Max as a second phone, and we don't know that.
Hopefully this misuse is just a fad and we can go back to a more sensible use.
But I agree privilege is vastly overused.
The biggest annoyance is that Android only allows having exactly one of those "Work Profiles".
This is what I'm doing currently: an old phone used exclusively for whatsapp (with an empty contact list); it always stays at home.
I only use it to coordinate kid's stuff (school, social activities, etc), so there is no problem with me not having it with me the whole time.
So, these things should be regulated and operated like utilities. Phone companies don't have the right to mine my contact list, and neither should Facebook.
Why not? I would.
You would also have to explain to them that Facebook cannot read your messages, but they can see the meta data. And then you have to explain to them what meta data is.
I think your kid is not going to appreciate your efforts.
'other companies have the same product (talking about chat) and don't contribute to the formation of monopolies'
'you're way out of line'
'i just don't trust them and i use a different service'
'ah? tell me more.'
It's a lesson in civics. To do nothing and say nothing while expecting someone else to fight the good fight is poor citizenship, but it is very good consumerism.
If some company could set themselves up as a utility, and the mobile network operators were to pay that company to run the messaging app + infra, then it could be made to operate like a utility and nobodies data would have to be sold.
I think that model could've worked.
'your device owns you and is siphoning cash from you'
I've also withdrawn from social media.
The exception for now is HN, because it's more of a forum, even when bad information sometimes instates itself as reality for a large conversation, like a big gathering of fans talking about their team that will inevitably fail to win or perhaps a bad STD.
I learn what others are doing through direct and intentional communication, even if technology is used or if the information is second-hand. I don't text back or call back immediately, which my friends and family forgive, but it sometimes seems to hurt my relationships.
I still worry of dependence on large companies, big data companies gathering more information about me than I know myself, and the potential of out-of-control AIs. However, I attribute these in-part to my own paranoid thinking that use my memories of large company layoffs, privacy concerns raised in the tech community, and mostly fiction.
While I've come to the realization that the act to trying to be happy and successful is the very thing that makes me unhappy, and I just need to exist, maybe becoming better at whatever I'm naturally good at, while being here and now with those I'm with, giving my service to them... I still keep wasting time replying about things that don't matter.
Without kids I could see myself getting away with not using WA, but with kids you are really setting yourself up for a very hard time (and prepare to be judged by other (annoyed) parents and your kid will feel the consequences at some point, the kids will miss out on critical and fun information).
WA has almost become what email used to be. Except that it's a controlled platform and we are locked into a single provider, a provider that once promised a focus on privacy and an app free of commercials, forever...
And it's better than SMS at Unicode.
I'm not sure what the problem was, but WhatsApp solved it.
Our generation is reinventing the wheel here, our ancestors had exactly the same problems with the power, water, gas, telephone and rail networks (at some point in time, all those were unregulated and privately owned) and did exactly that. Critical infrastructure needs to be heavily, regulated if not outright publicly owned.
I like the analogy with utilities, but the issue is that we pay for electricity, but we don't pay for our usage of social media. As long as that's true we can difficulty do what I'm suggesting above
Consolidation is a debt. You gain market cap at the cost of introducing systemic weakness and reducing broader market innovation. Once a company becomes a fundamental service they need to be regulated like a utility
(I will illustrate with Facebook)
Facebook can get the license to operate it but they also need to open up their API’s so others can build on top. These should become web standards governed by w3c.
Facebook is an interesting case as this system would remove all the perverse incentives driving their business model (no more ads). It would also crash their stock. That value hasn’t disappeared though, it has been pushed out to the edge nodes of their network (specifically the companies building on top of their API’s). My thesis is that this model will increase the overall pot while reducing the share the largest players have.
The knock-on effect of this is that investors will see this as the final outcome and be less incentivised to invest. That may be a problem as we don’t want to stop the emergence of billion scale companies altogether. Therefore a mechanism for the people to buy out the company at a fair legally agreed market value should be in place. This will stop crazy upsides and protect the undesirable downsides. The asset then becomes publicly owned but privately operated according to regulations.
AI would fall under the same model. With open API’s and standards anyone can get the data they need to build new AI companies. Especially feasible if we move towards self-sovereign identities and crypto methods of exchange.
To facilitate more small tech innovation we need to introduce a UBI. It will allow more people take risks with their time leading to more cottage innovation. In 100 years it will be a fundamental aspect of fiscal policy.
Additionally education needs to be refocused on making things. People are not equipped with the skills to build things. There is no better way to learn, grow and generate value. If we want a diversified small tech eco-system economy we need to focus on helping people develop the skills that make it possible.
I believe that we need fully decentralized system, much like the e-mail, but realtime and E2EE. Sadly, it seems to me that we're taking the opposite direction. Just few widely used messengers, all of them are centralized, some of them have E2EE, but who knows for how long - EU commission seems to like the idea of breaking in. No matter what their intentions are, I didn't sign up for that.
Furthermore; I'd much rather have the government spying in my stuff than Facebook selling my data to the highest bidder; at least if that were my only two choices.
Are you seriously comparing letters and private IM conversations? I don't know about you, but I received/sent maybe 5 letters in last 10 years, none of which were from/to another private entity.
> I'd much rather have the government spying
I consider this very short sighted and dangerours, but that's your choice.
> at least if that were my only two choices
Those are not your only two choices, that's kinda my point. We actually don't have to choose between a greedy company or a state. The only decision people need to make is centralized or decentralized system.
> The only decision people need to make is centralized or decentralized system.
They already have this choice; Matrix and others exist for quite some time already. Yet it is evidently clear that your average citizen will flock to whatever messenger is the easiest to use and is already used by their friends/family. Security/privacy are second thoughts at best, if at all; and even if it were important, grasping the different implications of all the available options isn't exactly easy either.
And since we can probably agree that the vast majority of folks already "fail" to make the right choice in this regard, I'd much rather have a regulated, government-controlled messenger than some company like Facebook. The former is accountable to its citizens, the latter to its shareholders - if I have to pick my poison, the choice is clear.
...because email and IM exist. they used to not exist and people sent paper letters to each other all. the. time.
now there are places and people I need a particular digital post office company to communicate with - and the worst part is, it's because they don't really care and thus force me to risk giving up my data if i want or need (read - am forced to due to life circumstances) to talk with them.
For what it's worth, I too would trust the government a whole lot more than Facebook.
It would seem to me that Americans have had more experiences with bad companies, and Europeans more experiences with bad governments over the past 300 years...
Not to forget the things that were in co-operative ownership, either.
How come the absolutely, humongously overwhelming majority of families and friend groups don't use Telegram, but WhatsApp?
Privatizing them will just let someone else come along and Embrace, extend, extinguish them.
Nobody has a chance, but different reasons in each company:
* What we have seen with Google - For a search engine, the more traffic you get the better results you can give (you can A-B test different algorithms for different queries, and optimise results). For new entrants they need to be popular before they can be better, which is a catch-22. Additionally Google has significant revenue which is very profitable because of it's monopoly position, and it can use this to reinvest in search technology to further widen the gap. It's going to take more than 2 people in a garage to beat modern Google at search!
* For a social network, Facebook buy out any potential competition when it's gaining traction to further solidify their monopoly. See WhatsApp, Instagram, Friend.ly e.t.c.
Lately I have been noticing the opposite trend. Google search relevance is going downhil for me. I'm not sure when that started but I noticed it in 2019-ish last two years. Youtube search is so bad (note: I have history disabled), I rely on Google to search YouTube.
Playing cat and mouse with SEO seems to have taken its toll. I find myself going to DDG and Bing a few times a week. Before it was only Google.
> For a social network, Facebook buy out any potential competition when it's gaining traction to further solidify their monopoly.
Maybe, but each of those competitors is essentially a fad, and Facebook forcing WhatsApp users to login via Facebook, to me seems more like desperate move, than anything else.
I agree those acquisitions are IMO problematic, but I am not sure if they are strengthening Facebook, or killing it with a thousand cuts.
MSFT is nowhere the behemoth it was, with Windows 10 being minority compared to Android.
Or Blame MSN, the Instant Messenger, when Microsoft refuse to admit defeat to the Smartphone platform.
So WhatsApp took over in EU ( I believe iMessages or SMS is still popular in France ), UK, SEA, Brazil, Hong Kong. Line in Japan and Taiwan, KakaoTalk in South Korea. Unsure about Australia and Canada. ( They use WhatsApp but not to the extent of countries listed above. )
And it is iMessages in US. I have no idea why that thing even took off. I have tried it dozen times over the years and every few months it has problem with message delivery, people in group not receiving any messages. Poor Searching capabilities etc....
Telegram has gain usage but for different kind of reason. And I dont see it ever being used in the same manner as WhatsApp.
So most of friends just clicked yes and share their Data. It is important to note despite the increasing hostility against FB on HN, and in Tech Circle, most people in the world seems to have no problem with it. I dont see WhatsApp going away any time soon.
Edit: How does this data sharing fit in with GDPR in EU?
It actually doesn't fit at all. As long as "payment" for usage is based on agreement to share personal data it is illegally obtained consent. Either they are ignoring their lawyers or they should fire them.
EDPS Opinion 4/2017 on the Proposal for a Directive on certain aspects concerning contracts for the supply of digital content, 14 March 2017, p. 7.
"There might well be a market for personal data, just like there is, tragically, a market for live human organs, but that does not mean that we can or should give the market the blessing of legislation. One cannot monetize and subject a fundamental right to a simple commercial transaction, even if it is the individual concerned by the data who is a party to the transaction."
Where iMessage fails is when the device in the other end isn't an Apple device, or perhaps the contact previously used an iPhone, then fallback to SMS is troublesome.
Most of my familymembers will send an "SMS"... except it's via iMessage, but nobody knows or cares.
That'll explain why my mum can never ever get in touch with me.
My point being that I don't think many carriers care about text messaging, or phone calls. They sell you a fixed cost plan for those. The only thing that can really affect your price is data usage. If Google wants to deal with the hassle of managing a messaging platform, great, that's money save on running a service that isn't making money anyway.
I'm getting strange looks every day when people hear I don't use the platform. It's horrendous.
I also really fear for the moment where I've to tell a nice girl I met that I don't use the platform, and that we should use X other platform instead. I can imagine that to be a letdown or to be weird. That's insane to me.
If their friendship relies on you installing an app on your phone, that's a very shallow friendship isn't it?
This argument doesn't make sense. You can't just ignore practical aspects entirely and justify it with a cheeky "if they're truely your friends they'll accomodate ahah".
Sure if I want to send a private message to a friend I don't care whether its via SMS or whatsapp, but if I'm in a group chat with 5 of my friends I won't send a transcript of the conversation to the one person who doesn't participate.
Or would you not want your friend to attend?
The choice is: do I want my friend to be included in my activities?
The choice is not: do I want my friend to be included and also send all of his data to some people I've never met?
Maybe it works for you, but not for most people.
I ring them up or SMS people.
I think your fear depends strongly on how open-minded/techie the girl is, though: I've used Signal to communicate with all of my Tinder contacts, but I will admit people remark on how it feels like a 'drug deal'.
It is possible, but difficult. You may lose access to some groups, but you can't have everything you want without some sacrifice.
Personally, I'm leaving WhatsApp. Yes, my family and friends will be a bit annoyed about the hassle of contacting me separately, but so be it.
And in a lot of countries you wouldn't lose access to "some groups" but you would lose access to ALL of them, from social, to every other group.
For me, ditching WhatsApp is altruistic, helping make it easier for others to socialise without giving up their privacy and security.
Would they really find that too difficult? The mind boggles.
It seems quite one-sided.
Hope some lawyers can stop this in its tracks. Otherwise Signal or some other service will get our business
Obviously that doesn't stop (many, many...) just using it anyway. But Facebook will happily turn a blind eye to this unless their hand is forced.
When I try to tell parents how much Facebook learns about their kids (their friends, networks, and by merging data from different sources: habits, school, frequented locations, etc), they just roll their eyes. The response is "well everybody is tracking us, who cares".
All this even though there is Signal, which works JUST FINE.
I don't think politicians are going to solve the problem for us entirely, but a bunch of us have been working on technical solutions for decades and they aren't the entire answer either.
A little regulation combined with the right alternatives may go some way. I'm optimistic, though we have a very long road ahead.
What is really problematic is Facebook monopoly for organizing any social activities or events. There are simply no alternatives especially among 30-50 years old. Like the saying, “What parents were afraid video game would do to children, Facebook did to parents.”
There is no way to cut WhatsApp from casual/family use in Europe.
Schools, kindergartens, mechanics, contractors, plumbers everyone uses it.
The problem is that WhatsApp is the easiest method to share photos on mobile.
If you do not have WhatsApp your plumber can not send you a picture of pipes they fixed. How do you work around that?
Other parents are using WhatsApp for organizing out of school activities. Again, there is no way to go full Stallman here...
Beyond that, I will not entertain personal messages on whatsapp, only work related. Each new person will be greeted with "Do you mind awfully if we use Signal?" Does this come off as self-important? Sure. But it helps that I don't care too much if it does. I had the same attitude quitting FB and Twitter too, I just don't need people that much. I don't have a 100 friends anyway. I have like 15 that I really want to keep in touch with. Those 15 will understand.
Here in the UK I am literally required to be on WhatsApp to live in the building I currently live in. I have no choice in this matter. It's just the default messaging service for everyone.
If you join any kind of club? WhatsApp group. If you want to talk to someone about renting a room or apartment? WhatsApp chat. Live with housemates? WhatsApp group.
Plus the whole fact that if I deleted facebook, I would cut off contact with my friends and family (I can't expect like 25 people all to switch messaging services just for me). I would lose access to my thousand-dollar Oculus VR headset (I hate them so much for buying and linking facebook and Oculus, and hope a better competing standalone headset comes out).
And don't forget, you can't use an Oculus Quest with a blank facebook account you made just for that - they actually check that you're really using the account and force you to verify with photos and ID.
They are the absolute epitome of evil. Facebook, in many ways, but particularly in regard to Oculus, is a moustache-twirlingly, cartoonishly evil organization.
Could I just never buy an Oculus? Hopefully one day. But when not just your hobbies, but also your study and skillset and career prospects are right in that industry, you swallow your pride and make a damn facebook account.
I was also required to be in facebook groups for university classes back when I was a student. I HAD to be on facebook to get a degree. And for an amateur theatre group I joined.
Not to mention everything going on with misinformation about elections, vaccines, etcetera etcetera.
Some of this stuff is now moving to Discord, which is probably better than anything owned by facebook, but being better than facebook is a damn low bar, and Discord is still ultimately a for-profit corporation that would sell your soul if it made them a dollar.
This "just stop using it" attitude you always get on Hacker News and reddit about facebook and their various messaging platforms baffles me. Do you people not have lives? Jobs? Friends? Family? If you (in or out of a pandemic lockdown) want to do just about anything outside your house, or a whole bunch of things inside it, you need to use Facebook services.
It sucks and I've love to stop supporting them but it's not like most of us have a realistic choice.
Unfortunately, seems that for many people on HN, HN is almost all their online social interaction, + tech people on signal/mastodon. Some don't seem to understand the concept of having family and friends who are not tech-savy (or even hate tech). Or understand the concept of social capital.
It’s not “switching”, they can start using another app and continue using whatsapp. I’ve done it with my family at least twice during the last 12 years, it was not that difficult.
I'm so anti-Facebook now that it's a part of the way I identify myself, and for all that I can't delete it.
I maintain contact with a friend in Germany via Whatsapp or Facebook messenger, and in this case it would be possible to use email (which is not nearly as casual as firing off a message in your spare moments) or some other service but it doesn't solve the problem about friend groups.
I have friend groups around the world that my only way to participate in is Facebook. I believe moving abroad is in my future again, and Messenger is detestably the only real way to keep up with my friends back home. Leaving Facebook and Messenger is like leaving a bar I hate; I'm only here for the people and I wish we could go somewhere else.
(I don't know what to replace it with -- I mostly use Hangouts but it really feels like it's falling apart.)
I would suggest to check if they use Telegram/Line/Kakao/Hangouts, or suggest it to them. They are all closed source, but at least is the lesser evil?
People have the choice and use it. Not sure what is holding other circles back?
I havent had whatsapp in 4+ years and only rarely have to fall back to SMS
And it is, and I sympathize, but you and your family will not die or starve. It's possible.
I'm fed up an will remove fb and wa from my phone, at least. It will be painful
You will find WhatsApp contacts for any kind of communication, ordering a taxi, food, whatever.
Move out of WhatsApp, and it is going to be quite boring out in the Savannah.
WhatsApp is popular but not a monopoly. Not really something to celebrate since its main "competitor" and #1 instant messenger app is Facebook Messenger. Skype and Discord are also significant, and I expect iMessage to be important too.
It seems to me that the inability to easily message a group would be a bonus and not a loss!
Net neutrality not existing helps WhatsApp and other services here, one cell provider for example offers 1 year unlimited WhatsApp+Facebook including voice and video calls for a total (not monthly!) cost of 3USD on a prepaid chip. So you can't call, you can't write SMS, you can't use the internet but you can use WhatsApp for almost no cost. If you are on a budget this is a no brainer, for comparison - 5GB full internet access on the same chip is around 5$.
How are you going to break such a monopoly supported by providers? At this point it is something all providers do so if one starts offering it all other providers have a competitive advantage because everybody is already using WhatsApp. I am not sure if Facebook pays these providers, my guess is not - they are pushed into this by their competitors.
Net neutrality is very important to not let this happen. Similar deals exist for other popular services: Instagram, Youtube, TikTok, Spotify, Snapchat, Twitter, Netflix to name a few
Everything you said applies to the Indian subcontinent, SE Asia and South America which form the bulk of the WhatsApp user base as well but with lesser or no scrutiny whatsoever when compared to EU/UK.
It has to start somewhere. It is possible, but it takes will, and the acceptance that you will lose some contacts.
Personally I'm not really sure who's using WhatsApp, I know two or three WhatsApp users. They all use it because they have friends other countries, mostly the middle east.
If RCS actually becomes a thing, then I don't see much of a future for apps like WhatsApp.
I have no reason to believe it will ever take off: It's been dead in the water since 2012 or even earlier. It doesn't support end-to-end encryption. Carriers would like to charge for it.
This takes chat away from any single service.
- Contact Discovery
- Group chats
- History / Log
- Shared message order
- Communication beyond text (emojis / reactions / inline images)
- Ability to receive messages while offline
- No need for technical skills
I prefer something you can generate yourself, like encryption keys. That's the approach taken by yggdrasil (and cjdns before): generate an encryption key, map the public part to an IP address (there's almost enough bits in v6). Plus, it can easily be end-to-end encrypted.
Another plus is that you can generate as many as desired.
As for the protocol, Matrix is experimenting a bit with going p2p.
I have Telegram and Signal installed and was chatting with friends above moving over (finally) but its painful especially right now.
With right amount of incentive, force and numbers - tipping point could be reached but I cant see it happening in the current situation.
With my cynical hat on I imagine FB know this and timed this policy change accordingly.
If I need anything to be delivered to the house I need to use Whatsapp (gas, water, food, etc).
It’s a deal!
What could be considered instead, is building public utilities as a community.
So, while they are not yet public utilities, they should be turned into such.