WhatsApp Is Encountering Staunch Resistance In Its Biggest Marketplace, India

Following the recent policy updates WhatsApp announced for its userbase, and the calamity of backlash that ensued from said userbase, the social media app is losing a lot of its footing in India and scrambling to make amends.

WhatsApp's update to its Terms of Service has evoked a deafening flutter of conversation and opposition across the world. Stating that the company will be sharing user data with it's highly controversial parent company, Facebook, and not caring to specify what that data will entail has left users understandably displeased. There's been an absolute barrage of complaints across Twitter, Reddit, and even Facebook itself as people hurl accusations of community abuse and the like.

WhatsApp's competition has, naturally, seen a massive influx of users as WhatsApp's consumers quickly jumped ship and moved on to better prospects. The messaging service Telegram surpassed over 500 million active users, with an influx of 11.9 millions downloads within a week of the policy announcement. Signal, bolstered on by a tweet from tech billionaire Elon Musk suggesting the app to WhatsApp's community, quickly became the top most downloaded free app on both Google Play and the Apple Store.

India itself, WhatsApp's largest market accounting for 340 million users at the end of 2020, is proving to be troublesome for the app. Apart from users abandoning the app to a man as they switch to other platforms, legal action has also been pursued. A petition was filed before the Delhi High Court, accusing the social media messaging app of partaking in blatant user data harvesting and sharing, and calling for it to acknowledge and cease such behavior. Calling the past week a bad one for WhatsApp would be a gross understatement.

Facebook is currently trying its hardest to maintain a grasp over its Indian customers. It's switched to heavily advertising, buying out full-page adverts costing the social network millions in rupees, geared towards assuring users that their personal data is safe, owing to WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption of messages. WhatsApp's head, Will Cathcart, has personally taken to Twitter in an attempt to actively explain the company's new terms and conditions in the hopes of assuaging public fears and perception.

This may, however, prove to be too little too late. WhatsApp might just fall by the wayside, perhaps all owing to the severe mistrust its parent company has garnered over the years.

SOPA Images via Getty Images

Sources: TC // Ind.

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