“If the service is free, then you are the product”, if WhatsApp users understood this maxim they would quit splitting hairs over WhatsApp’s latest update that gives it a snapchat/Instagram-esque look.
Truly it makes you question what the app is supposed to be for? Sending messages to your contacts for business and pleasure or sharing pictures of the ice-cream you just had. I am not left out of the confusion, trust me, I still grapple with what is safe and not safe for my WhatsApp status.
The reason I am not losing my mind over it, is that I saw this coming from miles away. After the app was acquired by Facebook, I knew I would not be long before they started talking about profitability. And yes, finally, that fowl has come home to roost, WhatsApp wants to start making money.
The route they chose to thread was that of selling eyeballs – and they have many of those, with 1 billion users worldwide and counting. Instead of crying blue murder, users can find ways to leverage the new feature to appeal to new and existing companies, so as WhatsApp makes money off users, users make money off the app, and everyone wins.