According to a LocalCircles survey of over 17K Indian WhatsApp users, a whopping 75% of users said that they would stop using business chats and payments on WhatsApp. Another survey by market research firm Cybermedia Research found 79% of the respondents reconsidering their use of WhatsApp, while 28% said they would discontinue using the app from May this year.
Cybermedia surveyed 1,500 WhatsApp users in India, of which 41% said they would move to WhatsApp’s main rival Telegram, while 35% indicated wanting to shift to encrypted messaging platform Signal. Notably, both these apps scored a major win in terms of downloads soon after WhatsApp announced the new policy.
This particular point was emphasised by Facebook chief Zuckerberg in the investor call. “To clarify some confusion that we’ve seen, this update does not change the privacy of anyone’s messages with friends and family. All of these messages are end-to-end encrypted, which means we can’t see or hear what you say, and we never will unless the person you messaged chooses to share it. And business messages will only be hosted on our infrastructure if the business chooses to do so,” Zuckerberg said.
WhatsApp has been embroiled in a slew of lawsuits and regulatory bottlenecks in the country over the past two years due to which it hadn’t been able to launch its payments feature beyond the beta mode until November last year when the NPCI gave it a go-ahead. However, the payments authority’s nod came with a rider that the Facebook-owned messaging app can expand its UPI user base in a graded manner starting with a maximum base of 20 Mn registered users.