WhatsApp has just made it easy for me to write my first column of the year, because it wants to change the terms and conditions of its service: it now requires users to provide a whole host of information about themselves, their contacts and their location. All this must be agreed to before February 8 or users would lose access to the app.

I have long feared Facebook’s extensive power over the billions of people who use its messaging platforms, which include WhatsApp. Early last year I tried to convince readers to leave WhatsApp. I dragged all my friends and family over to Telegram. But WhatsApp is the dominant messaging platform in the world, with over 2-billion users. Everybody and anybody is on WhatsApp. That alone gives it a network effect that vastly increases its power and ability to connect you to just about any person...

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 Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now