TOBY SHAPSHAK: WhatsApp demand is a bridge too far
Could Facebook be trying to consolidate its integration of the app before the US government tries to break up its monopoly?
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...