If you live in the US, you’ve at least heard of WhatsApp, the messaging app that Meta acquired in 2014.
But if you live in other parts of the world like India, the service is more than just an app for communicating with friends and family.
Rajeev Khera, founder of Chakki Peesing, a foodtech company operating out of New Delhi, said:
Khera is one of millions of Indians who do business primarily through WhatsApp. It’s not just business. Nearly 400 million people in India use her WhatsApp to keep in touch with relatives abroad, send money and access vital medical information.
WhatsApp’s simple design has been a hit internationally, especially in countries where most people don’t have an iPhone to use iMessage or an affordable cell phone plan to send SMS messages. It helped me to When Meta bought WhatsApp in his record-breaking $19 billion cash-and-stock deal eight years ago, it was seen as a risky bet. Today, WhatsApp doesn’t contribute much to his Meta’s bottom line, but it’s arguably the company’s most important international product.
At the same time, WhatsApp suffers from the same misinformation problem that has plagued Facebook. But unlike Facebook, WhatsApp uses encrypted and private communication software, making it difficult for the company to control its content. The problem is particularly acute in India, where unsubstantiated rumors spread on the app, with serious consequences. Recently, the Indian government threatened to crack down on one of her WhatsApp’s core values, user privacy, and regulators are demanding how authorities can access people’s messages when they need to. Will Meta continue to keep his WhatsApp messages private as pressure mounts?
“We have to think about what it means to provide a service that allows people to communicate their most private thoughts, most private messages, and most private phone calls to the most important people in the world,” WhatsApp said.
The sixth episode of the new season examines how WhatsApp has become so powerful, and how that power affects the rest of Meta’s apps. land of giants, the Vox Media Podcast Network’s award-winning narrative podcast series about the most influential technology companies of our time. This season, Recode and The Verge team up for his seven episodes to tell the story of Facebook’s journey to becoming his Meta, featuring interviews with current and former executives.
listen to the sixth episode of Land of Giants: Facebook / Meta DisruptionCatch the first five episodes on , Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get podcasts.