WhatsApp Is Starting Its First Ever US Media Based Ad Campaign To Sheds Light On Encrypted Messages

WhatsApp is kicking off its first ever US media based advertising campaign, having booked a slot featured during the NFL Championship Game this Sunday.

WhatsApp is one of the biggest social media platforms across the world right now. It’s an extremely useful app, it is widely used for both professional and personal matters, and enjoys a userbase that borders the billions. This being its first ever US media advertisement, despite years of operating, goes to show just how much of an audience the platform has amassed: such gestures were previously thought to be unnecessary. Of course, anyone who mulls over this logic for even a few quick seconds will realize that there are some logical gaps in this thought process. If WhatsApp’s audience really is this big, why warrant an advertisement now? Also, what do you mean the first US-based advertisement? Has there been promotion elsewhere prior to this attempt? Yet another point is the fact that WhatsApp isn’t even waiting for the Super Bowl to roll around. That game is literally advertisement central, lots of people don’t even watch the game; they just lounge around for some fun giggles and movie trailers.

The advertisements become clearer when one realizes their motive is not to inspire more individuals to join the platform, but instead to keep the users that already populate it. The ad, labeled “Doubt Delivered” points out that SMS and text messages aren’t really safe because they don’t have what WhatsApp does: end-to-end encryption. The ad then goes on to quickly cover how infallible the technology is and why it’s so useful. While dismissing another form of texting to promote your own brand is a little cheap to say the least, this ad campaign also just feels like a response to the massive amount of criticism that WhatsApp has been accumulating over the past year.

2021 was a pretty bad year for the platform; while it continued to keep its large userbase and even expanded into other ventures, WhatsApp was rife with controversy after controversy. First, there was the policy fiasco in early 2021, where the company stated that it will be sharing personal user data with parent company Meta. Users were mad since they believed that end-to-end encryption kept all personal data safe, and WhatsApp just casually stating (not asking, stating) that it will be siphoning private data was too much for users to bear. Many jumped ship to the likes of Telegram and Signal. A massive ad campaign was even launched in India, attempting to convince users that end-to-end encryption was still rock solid, which explains why the NFL game is WhatsApp’s first US based ad campaign. Then, parent company Meta got swept up by whistleblower Frances Haugen for causing netizens personal harm through algorithmic content. Telegram even had a severe exchange via Twitter with WhatsApp, where the former outed the latter for keeping records of user messages, which essentially tore apart E2E as a whole.

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