THE LEX COLUMN: WhatsApp’s conflicting message
WhatsApp’s latest privacy notification has been a spectacular own goal for parent company Facebook. Spooked by what they assumed was a sudden encroachment on privacy, users have rushed to download rival apps. Yet the snafu need not derail Facebook’s plan to monetise messages.
What a difference a week makes. Dubai-based Telegram boasted that 25-million people joined in 72 hours after the WhatsApp notification. Signal, a privacy-focused messaging app created by a WhatsApp co-founder, topped Google and Apple app stores this week — boosted by Tesla boss Elon Musk’s Twitter post “Use Signal” to his 42-million followers. Shares in Signal Advance, an unrelated US-listed company, rose more than 400% as confused investors tried to capitalise on the shift...