What's Happening At WhatsApp?
Is the world's favourite messaging service about to change?
There is no denying that when whatsapp was launched in 2009 it changed the way we send messages forever. One of the most widely used and more importantly, easy to use, messaging services in the world, Facebook took it to new levels of success with its purchase in 2014.
But with everything, it seems that its success comes at a cost, with one whatsapp co-founder, Brian Acton, exiting the brand in 2017 and the announcement of the other co-founder, Jan Koum's departure this week, it begs the question: what is going on over at whatsapp?
Well, while all the messages being put out are pointing towards a cordial agreement between the co-founders and Facebook, sources close to the pair say that the departures have had a lot to do with Facebook's pressure to open whatsapp up to advertisers. While this might not have been in Acton and Koum's original vision, one can hardly blame Facebook for wanting to recoup some of their $19 Billion investment.
In a recent interview with CNBC, Facebook VP of messaging products, David Marcus, stated that there were plans to open whatsapp to advertisers in a variety of ways. These included the ability to send and receive messages to and from brands and to build a dating feature for the platform to rival the likes of Tinder and Match. With the system being so easily linked to Facebook, the move makes perfect sense from a business perspective, but potentially not from a personal perspective in the cases of Koum and Acton.
While we might never be clear on the exact reasons for the departures, speaking of Koum's recent departure, Mark Zuckerberg had this to say: ”I will miss working so closely with you. I’m grateful for everything you’ve done to help connect the world, and for everything you’ve taught me, including about encryption and its ability to take power from centralised systems and put it back in people’s hands. Those values will always be at the heart of WhatsApp.”