Facebook pushes Whatsapp privacy changes with new design

Facebook has brought back policy changes that outraged privacy advocates. This time with illustrations.

User Screenshot of revamped Whatsapp privacy changes with illustrated designs

The same changes were originally deployed on users in January as a ‘take it or leave Whatsapp’ ultimatum. That is still the case, Facebook is still implementing the same policy changes and users are still facing the choice of accepting the changes or leaving Whatsapp.

It is 5 months later and there are now some illustrations. Facebook is hoping this is enough for the majority of users to click through and accept the changes.

Users responded to the first attempt at launching these changes with their thumbs. Rival messaging app Signal saw downloads spike by 4200%, rocketing to the top of the iOS App store and Google Play Store.

Prominent twitter users Elon Musk and Edward Snowden threw their support behind Signal as the alternate platform of choice for users who chose Facebook’s ‘leave it’ option.

Elon Musk directs his followers to use Signal.
Edward Snowden responds to a question on why users should trust Signal

Most Whatsapp users are not CEOs of listed companies or former intelligence workers living in exile. However, average users are becoming more aware of the trade off between free convenient apps and the privacy costs that come with them.

Will a few months and some cute illustrations be enough to keep Whatsapp users on the platform or be the push users needed to switch to Signal?

So far, Facebook’s slow roll looks like a safe bet.

Global interest in the Signal messenger app has doubled since April 2020, but remains -96% down from its January peak when users sought an alternative to Facebook’s Whatsapp messenger app.

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