Facebook has entirely failed to utilise it - to allow external systems to connect in so that businesses can do business on there. The voice calls are also a disaster.
They've now come along to start messing with the privacy to start selling ads. It is insane that they're able to make such a mess of this. Is there a word for anti-innovation?
Considering that they're linking Facebook ad platform with the chats, and they're forcing this upon everyone, why isn't this covered by the monopoly laws? Most of us paid some money for the app.
They weren’t allowed to do that under old TOS, and the whole point of this update is to allow data sharing when contacting businesses, that will allow building business tools.
It brings more functionality like Messenger to interface with businesses - which I have found value in. For instance United service there was quicker and better than using the phone line to change/re-book flights.
Maybe I'm missing something?
So they were saying one thing in legal terms (we can share your data with facebook to improve facebook products) and another elsewhere (we will only share minimal data about and with businesses you communicate with, within this feature).
Personally I trust them to adhere to their TOS far more than their newsroom blog. So while I believe their short-term plans are reasonable, in the long-term Facebook has demonstrated repeatedly that they will do whatever they can get away with.
Does that make spreading what's effectively disinformation ok, though?
I'd argue that there are more than enough angles to legitimately criticize Facebook. Why make one up?
Only if I'm talking a business on WhatsApp (which is optional and will hopefully stay that way), and only if the business I'm talking to uses Facebook as a service provider (instead of, say, Twilio or a self-hosted solution) does something change for me.
Facebook has indicated that businesses processing chats through Facebook will be clearly indicated as doing so, which hopefully puts enough pressure on businesses respecting their customers' privacy to not do so.
Businesses not respecting people's privacy can already choose to share arbitrary data with Facebook for advertisement purposes, so what changes?
Now if Facebook was to discontinue the existing E2E-encrypted business chat integration, that would be something to get upset about.
I'm really afraid that the only lesson that Facebook (and others) have learned in all of this is that TOS changes are best hidden in the fine print of opting into some user-visible new feature via some dark UX pattern, like e.g. Google commonly does.
No it is not.
Does it say there is some sort of opt in to a business conversation, not only now but in the future? No.
So, you are giving Facebook the right to sell your private conversations to third parties in the future, but you think it’s not an issue because you trust ... checks notes... Facebook?
Where in the new TOS does it say that?
Same here. Don't get me wrong, I'm as deeply suspicious of everything that Facebook touches as the next person.
But here Facebook is seemingly doing a pretty normal/expected thing, and people (and more or less reputable news sources) portray it as a data-privacy scandal?
What's worst is that at least in my country, at least half of all articles about this were mentioning Telegram as a "secure, encrypted alternative to WhatsApp". This makes me very sad.
> The messaging platform laid out fresh terms in January, aimed at increasing business transactions on the platform.
Why have 1bn users and make $1 per user? Isn't it better if then have 200mn users and make $20 per user?
For me this 'shedding freeloaders and privacy-oriented-users' helps them more than not.
We have discussed pricing and volumes of customers before in this forum, multiple times, and for multiple products/services.
Is it better to have 1000 users and make $1 from each ($1000), or it is better to have 100 users and make $50 from each ($5000 and less support/maintenance/infrastructure costs)?
Facebook's obligation is to the shareholders. Shareholders want bigger pie. Shareholders will get a bigger pie. Apparently FB didn't lose enough users to be scared. Reality/facts drive this.
In a related note, I installed Viber. It asked me to share data with advertisers. I tapped to see the list. I scrolled (on my android phone) VERY fast, for 22 seconds to go through it.
"All the freeloaders" is half the reason that WhatsApp is popular: no matter who you want to contact, they likely had a WhatsApp account — from your elderly mother to your college friends to the B&B that you're going to stay at abroad.
If it goes from "everyone I know is on WhatsApp" to "1 in 20 people I know are on WhatsApp" maybe I'm less inclined to continue to fork over $20.
Let’s be real, I don’t think this is a realistic ratio of users lost. They made a cost benefits analysis and are going on with the plan.
The presence of the 'freeloaders' makes the value of the network.
In one case you make $1BN and in the other you make $4BN. So yes, the latter would objectively be better. :-)
If those 200 million users have to choose between paying you $20/year or paying only $1 and joining a network with 1 billion users...they'll probably choose the later. Then you won't see those 4 billion dollars.
If users cost $0.05 / user to support, that's very different than $1 / user.
Software products scale... but they don't scale completely free.
Now, widely used messaging platform also means content moderation team and local law enforcement alignment.
The lesson is then that it is in the best interest of users to steer clear of any shareholder-owned network in as wide arc as possible.
This is the problem. Businesses must take on additional legal responsibilities and not simply say “we care about profits — at the expense of everything else”.
This will require legislation, and perhaps and end to “MBA-culture”, which seems to promote sociopaths to the highest peaks of society.
One decade ago:
Skype, on the other hand, was about audio- or videoconferencing from a computer, and so it wasn’t quite as much a part of the ordinary person's life as Whatsapp.
^ That's why GP was saying they're similar
It was very much a part of everyday life in Hungary. "let's skype" as expression existed.
I know. And I think it's insane and horrible.
Not to mention that unlike Whatsapp, Facebook or Skype, on POTS/mobile phones you don't have any option to deal with spammers, call ID fraudsters and other bullshit.
No such thing is possible with WhatsApp. Various implementations come from the same company, do not have feature parity (e. g. phone calls are not supported on certain mobile OSes), and definitely don't allow anything in the way of integration with the outside world. A PSTN connection can be hooked up to a PBX to let you automate voice and all kinds of other things, while SMS can be synced to the computer using an app with the appropriate permissions. In short, PSTN is malleable, while WhatsApp is not.
It was the same in the US, especially for avoiding costly international SMS/MMS charges. It basically allowed me to communicate with international family and friends, since they might not have been as technically inclined to deal with logins and spam on apps like Skype.
In addition, at that time, WhatsApp was the best way to share contacts. It’s still one of the best ways, I think, since you don’t have to worry if the other person is iOS or Android.
I moved all of my AT&T calling card spending to Skype once it had the ability to call telephone numbers because it was much less expensive to do so.
“Will we ever end the MySpace monopoly?”
Skype was cheap long distance and low-cost mobile in Europe where it was expensive.
Both of those things were/are stupidly expensive in those respective locations.
Skype blew up pre-smartphone explosion.
Hangouts - no. It never was as smooth as skype or google talk.
The web chat they provided was incredibly slow on mid and low end PCs, but most of my friends didn't even get as far as trying it. Google talk stopped working in Adium and _they didn't notice_ because they were able to talk via other connected services.
Probably for the best, Google didn't end up the benevolent technocratic force for good that we hoped for at the time.
And there's that Android users were coerced to use Hangouts, which did not have XMPP. Rather than switch to Hangouts, most of my friends kept using Whatsapp and Messenger.
No! Whatsapp is a service!
Lots of people have been warning you that this is what happens when you get tools and services confused. I had warned people on here about this exact thing happening years ago when everyone thought it was the new hotness. People on this board were telling me I'm being overly cautious but this happens almost every time. Stop tying your identity and data to services if you're not 100% ok with them completely screwing you over!
Jabber has OMEMO and we have deltachat and autocrypt for email now. There is no reason to ever do this!
>Facebook has engaged in a systematic strategy—including its 2012 acquisition of up-and-coming rival Instagram, its 2014 acquisition of the mobile messaging app WhatsApp, and the imposition of anticompetitive conditions on software developers—to eliminate threats to its monopoly. This course of conduct harms competition, leaves consumers with few choices for personal social networking, and deprives advertisers of the benefits of competition.
>The FTC is seeking a permanent injunction in federal court that could, among other things: require divestitures of assets, including Instagram and WhatsApp; prohibit Facebook from imposing anticompetitive conditions on software developers; and require Facebook to seek prior notice and approval for future mergers and acquisitions.
When FB bought WhatsApp and Instagram they made explicit promises to regulators not to do this in order to get permission.
To make things even worse. Zuck wrote in email “It is better to buy than compete,” after buying Instagram.
Do you have copy of those legal binding promises?
Here's the EU's fine for them lying about account linking, at the very least.
Tech people with a high degree of suspicion and high disposable income are the exception. Even within that group, most people won’t put their money where their mouth is when given the option.
I remember WhatsApp being £1/year, or something like that.
Prior to Facebook acquisition, WhatsApp was a fantastic engineering effort. I don't know if it's now sunk down to normal FB standards or if they're still good.
Usually it'd just keep working anyways
If they'd start asking for money now there will be a mass migration to any other free service. We did it many times with instant messengers on PCs in the 90s and the early 2000s. People ponders about $10 vs $9 but they take no time moving from $1 to free.
iirc it had like 500mil users and less than 50 ppl in the company.
One day they spammed like 20 messages in a row, so I blocked them. If blocking was not allowed, I would just uninstall Whatsapp.
Selling user data and advertising is pretty much the end goal of most "free" applications that suddenly pop up on the scene, and that end goal is set from the start (whether to monetize the app yourself or sell/get acquired by a company that will monetize it).
With Whatsapp I would often get lag, echo and generally poor voice quality, with Signal it just works perfectly, even better than regular phone calls.
Give it a try and check if it's worth it for you.
i recall only one time where whatsapp voice was ok-ish (better then regular cellphone) quality but the lag totally killed the conversation. when someone calls me via xy-voice i usually deny it and call them back via cell. it became a meme that only cheapos do this some time ago.
international might be different as quality and lag issues are more prevalent and money is usually what keeps the conversation short.
The problem with capitalism is that despite lofty claims about it spurring on innovation and such, it pretty much does the opposite. I don't imagine that this will be a popular comment on here, but alas, it is how it is.
Innovation means experimentation with uncertain outcomes, but humans (including investors) generally dislike uncertainty in their lives. Those two factors combined mean that from a capitalist perspective, it makes a lot more sense to invest in a tried-and-true method with a veneer of innovation but predictable returns, than to truly innovate.
If you truly want innovation, then what you need to do is to take away the personal cost of failure (including but not limited to financially) as much as possible - across the board. The VC startup model is often claimed to do this, but really it just moves the cost of failure to the investors, it does not eliminate it.
In a capitalist socioeconomic model, where having a cost of failure is a fundamental tenet of the ideology (it's what defines the hierarchy), this sort of "anti-innovation" will always keep happening. It's simply the logical thing to do under the circumstances.
Silicon Valley and HN talk the talk of innovation, but they back monopolists. Time and again you will see this. Peter Thiel argues for this in his "Competition Is For Losers" talk.
The constant theme is this: we want innovation so far as it can bring about abrupt and massive growth and lead to a single company dominating a market. Uber, AirBnb, Facebook, Google, Amazon. These are all businesses backed by VC that are by design monopolies. They create the market and own it. Or, like Uber and AirBnb, they overturn the old order and toss up a wall around it. Profit is at odds with competition.
Once a business reaches a certain size, the organization no longer needs innovation. It's much easier to buy rather than build. Building requires figuring out product-market-fit and it's much cheaper and faster to buy a company that already figured that out.
That's also why you can have a world-class R&D lab like Xerox and see all of your innovations brought to market by outsiders (Apple + Microsoft in the '80s). Your organization is not necessarily equipped to understand how to utilize the innovations it creates. It doesn't understand how to sell or market the inventions. So it doesn't.
> If you truly want innovation, then what you need to do is to take away the personal cost of failure
We already reduce financial risk with bankruptcy laws. Reducing risk is one thing, but if you lean too far into that with VC money you can end up with WeWork or Theranos. Or any of the 2000s dot-com. Businesses that are little more than inflating worthless assets for some fraudulent payoff.
Reducing risk isn't the key. You need skin in the game. But more important, you need people with drive. People that like winning more than they hate losing.
> We already reduce financial risk with bankruptcy laws.
This is not sufficient. Bankrupcy laws don't pay people's bills while they try out something new and uncertain.
> Reducing risk is one thing, but if you lean too far into that with VC money [...]
I'm arguing that VC money isn't a way to reduce risk. It just shifts the risk.
> Reducing risk isn't the key. You need skin in the game. But more important, you need people with drive. People that like winning more than they hate losing.
Sorry, but this is feel-good motivational-speaker nonsense with an undertone of toxic masculinity. Actual research into motivation shows pretty consistently that people are intrinsically motivated so long as their basic needs are met.
(Which capitalism doesn't.)
“Creative destruction” is often used to describe the phenomenon you’re describing.
It can also mean selling off critical components of a working business for more than the business is (currently) worth.
While I agree with privacy things with you but business on whatsapp doesn't have to require privacy violations. In fact my experience has been good overall. Restaurants have used this as menu replacements, which is the best feature I have seen in a long time. But all they require to do this is give me there number. Facebook had a good feature, they are ruining it because all they know is to make money from advertisement. Its a Pidgeon holed mindset.
Also I don't know what you are talking about in terms of voice calls. I make several voicecalls on whatsapp every day for the past >5 years. Never had a problem with them.
I disagree that WA is mainly popular due to functionality. Yes, it works, but it was mainly network effect (much like FB).
can even use it from pc/tablet if i misplaced my phone ;)
(1) The policy differs per country. But how is it different in practice between the EU and USA and Brasil? It's not public knowledge.
(2) It's absurd the policy doesn't describe anything useful. I tried to find if the contact book is being sent to facebook and if so, for how long. The wording is so opaque it's impossible to figure out.
1 - https://techcrunch.com/2016/08/25/whatsapp-to-share-user-dat...
That's good news but I can't find this stated anywhere in their policy:
It seems like an important thing to mention.
I've been complaining and refusing to use WhatsApp for years, mostly because it's centralized at the worst possible company. But a boycott of one is not a powerful move and no one cared.
Now, for whatever reason, nothing has effectively changed and millions suddenly care.
I mean, I'm glad they finally do, don't think it will make much of a difference, as network effect is a very strong pull, but I'm flabbergasted nonetheless.
This was discussed on a You Are Not So Smart  episode some time over the last few months (I had a look but couldn't find it).
The basic idea was that collective behaviour can change in an instant because of multiple pressures that have been building over time and looking for a single cause (or trigger) is fruitless because no one event has any great significance per se.
The closest that Google would bring me is a paper on 'Threshold Models of Collective Behavior' .
It is a spark. Or a butterfly ;)
If I phone a tradesman, e.g. a plumber, and they ask for a picture of a job, the photo will be sent using whatsapp.
It's ubiquitous and it's assumed that if you're have a phone you have WhatsApp.
The only people I can think of that don't use it are my wife's grandparents, they use Facebook messenger for that purpose.
Back when people were switching to signal a lot of people cited the fact that signal needed a phone number as a reason not to use it, instead recommending session, threema, matrix.
But if signal didn't tie your account to your phone number there's no way I would have convinced any of my contacts to switch.
Having to exchange username or user IDs wouldn't have cut it, with whatsapp the service is deeply associated with you phone number and that's what people want.
It's free advertising in two ways. One is for Facebook/WhatsApp (the use of these signs further normalizes WhatsApp and strengthens the brand), and the other is as a friendly gesture to criminals: here live people who can't afford fancy alarm systems and private security subscriptions, but can afford plenty of easily stolen devices and other loot.
It's often pretty lonely. Ive had friends simply stop talking with me. Ive been left out of weddings, birthdays, etc. I guess it's like trying to be a vegan at a BBQ.
Worst part is that when what Id feared comes true, they just move on to the next worse option and the cycle continues.
You can bridge a number of these services if you want. Or use a locked down device for them. FAANG privacy crap causing you to lose friends is kinda letting them win a bit too much.
On the other, like you, I’ve missed many events of people I like but am not that close to, because everyone is on WhatsApp, why didn’t you come, oh, right, you’re that one guy.
If you can collectively get outraged about something with a group of people, you tend to feel "woke" and belonging to a cause.
We are to the point in media, especially online smaller publications, where if you see a story that you feel like you should get outraged about, you can safely discard it as either false or at best extremely biased.
But it has effectively changed, we like to ignore contracts/laws/T&C's and focus on the technology but those things really matter for a large company.
Can't it be due to coronavirus lockdowns? People have more time to read such news and discuss with others.
I know that the software itself is not the issue, the tech has potential to do good, but as humans we are just better off without it, if you ask me.
PS. Not looking to argue. Just wanted to vent.
I think people overestimate the value that Facebook gives them because of the social graph it holds ransom.
Before that, people bought firewall software for their computer.
After that you had to rely on the phone manufacturers to "protect you" which
was a blatant conflict of interest. To attract app makers, they needed to give them incentives, which basically boiled down to data after the price of apps plummeted to zero.
But let’s be honest: WhatsApp is moving forward because they aren’t threatened by this concern or losing some users to Signal. The average user doesn’t care about anything other than easily communicating with other people at this point, and news articles like this are part of the problem.
In 2021, everyone has heard the “if you’re not paying for it, you’re the product” line so many times that they’ve just accepted it and moved on with their lives. The media’s false equivalencies are simply accelerating it.
You can read a summary of the proposed changes here: https://www.google.com/amp/s/arstechnica.com/tech-policy/202...
Contrary to the public perception, Facebook isn’t in the business of selling data to other companies. The proposed changes don’t change that situation.
This is what I was trying to say with my comment above: The public perception of what these companies are doing has diverged from what they’re actually doing, and it’s making everyone so jaded that they’ve stopped paying attention to the details.
WeChat would like to have a word.
sure? afaik whatsapp is "only" domniant in five-eyes, europe and latin-america but thats not where the majority of ppl live.
I think the bounds of your knowledge are deceiving you as to the extent to which WhatsApp is used all over the world.
It is the dominant communication app in the entirety of the middle east, Africa and Asia (not including China) also.
The majority of the planet doesn't use the internet.
Only a slight majority of the planet even has the option to use the internet.
Still, better Signal than Facebook, I guess. :-/
P.S.: if I'm missing something and the check was done in privacy-conscious way, I would love to be corrected.
"Signal periodically sends truncated cryptographically hashed phone numbers for contact discovery. Names are never transmitted, and the information is not stored on the servers. The server responds with the contacts that are Signal users and then immediately discards this information. Your phone now knows which of your contacts is a Signal user and notifies you if your contact just started using Signal. "
There is indeed a way to truncate enough to balance the amount of data sent to the device vs privacy.
I missed that option (basically now the Google Safe Browsing API works) and the Signal page isn't clear that this is how it works.
I think, you should read up a bit on how Signal manages contacts/address books.
Afaik, Signal servers have no information who your contacts are.
Moxie made it stupidly hard to connect to Signal with anything that's not the official app, which is definitely a hostile act towards anyone who doesn't want to have the Signal app on their phone - the Signal desktop software needs the mobile app to work:
"To use the Signal desktop app, Signal must first be installed on your phone."
I definitely have my issues with Signal. That said, it's simple, and works reasonably well, it's just not a nice system at all from the dev/libre perspective.
I have seen family and friends _add_ Signal but few actually _removing_ Whatsapp from their phone. Which is not a success.
That depends on your aims. I announced to family/friends that I was deleting WhatsApp and asked them to install Signal, and they have done, and message me via that.
My aim was to ensure that I could still converse, but not have to use a service with which I had become disenchanted. It isn't my business whether they continue to use WhatsApp or whether they delete it.
Step 1 for family & friends is being available on multiple platforms, because that in turn gives _their_ circle less tie-in to WhatsApp. It's only when their circle also make themselves available that they would have a painless option to remove WhatsApp, but IMO, that's OK.
It is a success, but playing the long game.
Business is already conducted well on email, and if it needs sync chat for larger orgs then Slack steps in, and if it needs personal private sync chat then Signal steps in.
The amount of people reaching out via WhatsApp lowered drastically, all (but one) of my main contacts are now also on Signal.
- needs to be simple (not all of them are techies)
- need to be possible to run on desktop without any mobile need
- not Facebook (my requirement)
So I went and set an XMPP server up on the same machine I have my email and webserver, and wrote a quick guide on how to install blabber.im (a Conversations fork), and register on the server.
With a turnserver running in the background, it can do voice/video calls as well.
The room is not e2e encrypted yet - that is because I wasn't able to get the desktop person to install the omemo plugin for gajim, but that is the sole reason. We'll get there.
There is no history delivered on first connect - e2e encryption would prevent that anyway, similarly to Signal or Whatsapp.
PS: "Why not matrix?" Because at the moment, I despise the matrix clients, all the ones I tried, and the purple-matrix plugin for pidgin/adium/etc is long abandoned, and has no encryption support.
OK, for those who don't understand what I wrote: I spun my OWN XMPP server. You don't have to, you can use any XMPP/Jabber server, for example any here: https://list.jabber.at/
From a user perspective: get and app, register a user/password on the selected server, done. That is simple.
> There is no history delivered on first connect
This is a choice. The tech/option exists: https://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0313.html
I don't think XMPP has any future. It's a hassle to set-up and I have yet to see a really modern looking client. Blabber does not fit that at all.
Not for encrypted rooms.
EDIT: XMPP has https://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0313.html which can deliver history for the clients that support it. I just haven't set it up.
What doesn't feel simple from the user perspective?
Get https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=im.blabber.mes... , start it, follow the screen.
Or https://gajim.org/download/ for desktop, register on first run.
Or https://siskin.im/ for iOS, register on first run.
If that's not simple enough, we need to nuke the whole smartphone scene.
+ the steps above were _my_ steps, the steps of an XMPP server provider, not the steps of a user.
Because asking them to install another app on the phone is?
Seriously, what's the difference?
If you want to avoid Google Play-Services then Element and ActivityPub are much easier to use.
Plus if you cared to read the whole entry, I have the reason there why not matrix.
Rather than trying to reimplement stuff that other projects have done quite nicely, we're focusing on trying to grow the community, network and ecosystem with projects like easy onboarding and Snikket.
I then deleted my whatsapp account.
There was much wailing and grumpiness and some refusals to join me because people didn't want to use a new chat app. I was genuinely surprised that whatsapp had become so sticky for these people and had to mea culpa to smooth things over.
Why was this surprising? In general, people are lazy, at least creatures of habit if lazy is too strong. They have an app, it works for them, things in the background where they don't even know exists change that affects them zero, and you fly off the handle and disappear. You're the only person that had issues, and you're trying to buck their system.
Just because you (royal you, not you you) have strong moralistic feelings towards a company doesn't mean everyone else in your circles feel the same way. There is no bigger zealot than a new convert, and people get tired of hearing about it. To non-techie types, people screaming out against FB sound just like cult members.
when i left facebook i just left and when i left whatsapp i told people about signal two weeks ahead and then just left with that one message.
i think the problem was that i had convinced the patriarch of the group to join me and people wanted to be in contact with him, so the dissatisfaction was directed toward me.
ironically, i was the one who talked down the group from the fearfully dire outlook about social media when we discussed the netflix "documentary" "the social dilemma" a few months back.
i thought the latter part of the documentary that had the predictions of our society being destroyed because of the revelations exposed about what social media is doing to us was cringe and i explained to the group why.
OTOH, i told people "yeah, the first part is totally true and not a revelation. they are absolutely hacking your social biology to get you more engaged in what they have to offer. it's not a surprise to anyone really as the ML systems and technology that optimize for that are well understood and pretty standard. heck, i've even written some of those algorithms myself."
that's actually part of why i left facebook. i realized that i had become complacent about things i should not have become complacent about.
fwiw, my productivity and happiness have increased dramatically since i left facebook/whatsapp. YMMV
A few weeks ago I spun up a tiny EC2 instance, threw a matrix server on it, and moved us all over to that. It's been wonderful. All the features we want, plus I own the whole thing and therefor can do administrator things like reset passwords.
In a year or two will I regret being forced to admin a remote server that I've since forgotten everything about? History says yes, but who knows. It's been a joy so far.
There's something to be said for why WhatsApp is so popular, it feels like the most full-featured and polished communications app.
One issue I have with the Element iOS client is that it doesn't respect system font sizing. So, for older relatives, that app can't be used. I put my mom on something called "Fluffy Chat" though, which does respect font sizes. If Element fixes that, I'll move her back again. It's kinda nice having multiple clients to choose from, though Element is by far the most polished.
Signal, on the other hand, is basically a drop-in replacement for WhatsApp. Extremely similar UX, basically the same concepts, phone numbers as identifiers allow you to keep your social network if other contacts migrate.
But I do agree that Signal is easier, a better WhatsApp replacement for most people, and a wonderful service in general. The more people use it, the better.
Element actually does encrypted search a bit better than Signal. Signal stores every message it receives, in its entirety, forever (unless you tell it not to, or course, but then you can't search). That makes search dead simple, but it also fills up my phone with hundreds of megs a month. Element stores messages on the server, so old ones don't need to stay on your phone (only your keys). But you can still search the entire history because the client indexes every message that comes in and stores that index forever, which is much smaller than a bunch of media files, and even the plain text.
It's dead easy to download the app and sign up on Matrix.org though, just to test it all out before you go through the trouble of setting up your own homeserver.
I think the main cause for this is that WhatsApp still just works for most everyone, especially non-technical people - it's still a great product with many features, there's no settings you need to change, it's very reliable, moving to a new phone is literally just entering your phone number and allowing access(no accounts), etc.
Some people followed me to Signal but there really hasn't been a lot of interaction, and a few of them even moved back after the huge downtime it had right when the big news about the new policy broke.
It's fast, it's simple. Its UX is "flagship" (unlike, sorry, Signal - who I'm giving a chance, but the UX is unquestionably more "open source *nix product"-adjacent)
A few years back I got tired that my friends were sprawled across many different platforms, and I tried a bunch of different clients and found Whatsapp the most attractive. I made a pitch to the ones who weren't already on there to move over. And it stuck, even for my own parents.
If you force people to choose between using Signal and no longer being able to talk to you, they will make a choice. That choice could end with you being abandoned or ignored, or with a large group that would rather prefer WhatsApp using Signal, at least for this group.
Especially if it's multiple militant people, this effect can be quite powerful.
Though, most of those people I motivated to move to WhatsApp years ago when I wanted to switch from iPhone to Android. So, it's already a specific group.
You have to delete your account there.
Since this change seems pretty minor, why can't Whatsapp cancel the T&C changes, make a big announcement that they have caved to user demands, and then get some third party to host their commercial messaging efforts? Said third party could get permission to handle user data the way every other 'use chat for customer service' company does...
I wonder if they're doing a meh and surveilling me anyway.
A photographer claims he was accused of breaching
privacy by Facebook after taking photos of Mark
Zuckerberg cleaning up his dog’s poo.
Goes into slightly more detail then the article, and also takes obvious jabs at Telegram and Signal.
All the news I see are mixing opinions and facts, and all the official sources I check specifically say that only apply for communications with WhatsApp Business accounts, so I'm really intrigued as to what the changes really are on my situation.
Whatsapp is part of facebook, the most data driven of companies. Surely they wrote 10 variations on the 'please accept the new T&C's' screen, and did A/B testing on each, user studies, etc. And they wouldn't have deployed if there was any risk to their business...
Yet it seems the users hate it enough that there is a risk to their business... So what went wrong?
The simple text in bold at the top saying "Facebook never gets the contents of your messages to friends, and it never will" would have gone a long way to making most users happy.
It's almost as if someone deliberately chose the text of this to make users upset...