WhatsApp Unveils a New “Status” Feature and Reminds Users of the Privacy Update

by Alicia Brown Application Developer


WhatsApp faced worldwide backlash due to its privacy policy update and it has now announced to share future updates via its status feature. On 27 January, users noticed that WhatsApp had published four images to its own account on its “status”.  It seems as an attempt to combat misinformation concerning the changes to their privacy policy. 

The status feature is similar to how Instagram stories work. As of now the status seems to be visible by all WhatsApp users and there seems to be no opting out option. The update included an announcement regarding the privacy policy, it reminded users that chats will be still end-to-end encrypted and further information will be communicated through status. The images published on the status had the following text:

“WhatsApp is now on Status!” WhatsApp said. “We’ll let you about new features and updates here.”

“One thing that isn’t new is our commitment to your privacy.”

“WhatsApp can’t read or listen to your personal conversations as they’re end-to-end encrypted,”

This seems like damage control since users fled to other messaging apps after the privacy policy update. It is estimated that Telegram gained approximately 90 million new users while Signal gained around 50 million new users. 

Why the focus on end-to-end encryption?

End-to-end encryptions is preferred among users since it guarantees that only you and the person you are communicating with can read or listen to what is sent. No third party, including WhatsApp can intercept these messages since everything sent is secured and only the recipient can unlock it. This feature is automatically enabled in WhatsApp and you do not have to do it manually. 

The encryption is similar to the open-source Signal protocol. This is used by the Signal messaging application. The privacy policy has been delayed to severe backlash by users and since they went to alternative messaging apps. The most popular choices were Signal and Telegram. While Signal uses end-to-end encryption, Telegram is a bit different. Telegram does not automatically enable end-to-end encryption. You have to manually start a ‘secret chat” in order to prevent third parties including Telegram from viewing conversations. 

What’s next?

It is unclear if the privacy policy update has been delayed indefinitely or WhatsApp plans to go ahead with support of WhatsApp backup transfer but later than expected. It seems right now WhatsApp is concerned with rearing its relationship with users and regain their trust. 

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About Alicia Brown Senior   Application Developer

210 connections, 3 recommendations, 807 honor points.
Joined APSense since, December 2nd, 2014, From California, United States.

Created on Jan 28th 2021 06:03. Viewed 450 times.


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