4 ways in which Facebook could ruin WhatsApp
WhatsApp, the messaging platform with over half a billion users, has been acquired by Facebook in exchange of about $19 billion. What plans does Mark Zuckerberg have for the messaging app?
Here are 4 changes Facebook might want to carry on into WhatsApp:
1. Ads, ads and more ads. Is advertising an option for WhatsApp? Although founders have denied this, they are now under new management and principles may change. Facebook is an expert in segmented advertising and such expertise can be inherited by WhatsApp in order to make a profit out of more than half a billion users that the messaging system already has. Due to the fact that most WhatsApp users are already on Facebook, some people have argued that this wasn’t a smart acquisition , but that’s not the point. Yes, there is an overlap, but Facebook are not trying to gain users, instead, they are trying to monetise consumers through the communication process.
2. Incorporating real-time location. It is possible that WhatsApp will become smarter and tell users whereabouts as Facebook does when writing from a mobile device. A location tool might be a new setting that users either love or hate it. People would not only know when users have read messages but also where.
3. Data collection. From the very beginning, WhatsApp was an anonymous service: providing a phone number was enough to get registered and start using the application. However, Zuckerberg may want to introduce a new kind of registration in order to gather more user data such as email, gender, age and location. Of course, such data would allow them to offer a much more accurate advertising system.
4. Connecting the world vs. violating user privacy. Facebook’s core value is to connect people. Making our world visible in other parts on the world may be handed down to WhatsApp as well. Transparency, openness and change are constant in social media world and so this might be the case in WhatsApp. Facebook may take transparency to the next level and set a “last seen” feature showing not only who is staring at our conversation window but also highlighting who has seen our messages in a new window.
Let us know what you think on the comments!