It’s ironic that one of the people leading the #DeleteFacebook charge is Brian Acton, co-founder of WhatsApp, which was bought by Facebook for US$22bn in 2014. If you think the sum is eye-watering, consider last month’s tweet by Acton: "It is time. #deletefacebook." It must rank as one of the snidest comments from a founder. Now with a $7bn fortune, Acton is the 76th-richest person in the US, according to Forbes. He has invested $50m of that in the encrypted messaging app Signal, considered the most secure by many, including NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Buying WhatsApp was a smart play by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who realised the youth were deserting Facebook for messaging apps and the picture-sharing Instagram. Now with 1.2bn users, WhatsApp is a global messaging giant in its own right. And it is likely to be a nexus in Facebook’s ongoing privacy saga, which exploded with the Cambridge Analytica debacle. Facebook needs to make money from its service, and it appears to be ...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now