Just a short while ago WhatsApp announced that it now has more than 2 billion users worldwide. This is an important announcement as it indicates the text messaging platform’s popularity all around the world. It’s been exactly 2 years since WhatsApp revealed that it had one 1.5 billion users. 500 million users in a span of two years are quite impressive indeed.
2 billion users and growing. Or faltering?
In a blog post that underlined the importance of connections that people make whether familial or professional, WhatsApp implicitly encouraged more people to start using it. This comes at a time when governments across the world are increasingly pressurizing Facebook-owned WhatsApp to reveal user data. The official blog post seems curiously naive, given the context and conversations that are taking place around text messaging applications. This is probably why the company gets to more hard-hitting topics in the second half of the blog post.
WhatsApp implicitly reassures its users in the celebratory blog post
It acknowledges the importance of privacy and stresses the importance of end-to-end encryption “by default”. The idea seems to be to reassure people who have been rattled by various governments seeking user data. For instance, the Indian government has repeatedly pressurized the company to handover not only user data but also a possibility to read through live messaging. In order to quell myths and dispel fears, WhatsApp further assures that its service comes with an unbreakable digital lock.
The blog post concludes by saying the company will never compromise on its users’ privacy. The implicit reasoning here is, if it assures people that it will always respect users’ privacy, the number of users may continue to grow or at least remain stable. A point to note is, many people have begun to stop using both Facebook and WhatsApp. This is due to fears that their data may be handed over to various governments.
2 billion users may be difficult for WhatsApp to retain
In the coming years, WhatsApp has the arduous task of retaining its huge user base. It also needs to ensure that they don’t switch loyalties. 2 billion users is a staggering figure and something to be proud of. However, it is quite easy for even companies like WhatsApp to quickly lose trust. It seems to recognize this issue and has taken the bull by its horns by trying to reassure users.