As much as WhatsApp, through parent company Facebook, is trying to use the data on the platform to generate ads, no Zimbabwean is going to survive outside WhatsApp. This is mainly because not a lot of people use the alternatives Signal and Telegram. Furthermore, there is no bundle to cover the alternative messaging apps so… you have to bite the bullet and just accept WhatApp’s terms.
In saying that, I should also mention that WhatsApp won’t be able to read your messages. The metadata that WhatsApp is collecting (from business account interactions) is to feed the behemoth that is Facebook’s advertising enterprise. Facebook makes the bulk of its money from ad revenue, just this year alone the company’s revenue rose by 48% in Q1 2021 to US$26.17 billion backed by a 30% year-on-year increase in the average price per ad.
So, as you can imagine Facebook wants to make sure it can squeeze out as much money as it can from all its properties and WhatsApp had been a dead weight for too long.
If you don’t agree to WhatsApp’s policy you can still use the app but…
- You will not be able to send statuses within the app. So all of you who like to share memes and events you are going to be at a loss here.
- Forwarding messages is going to be impossible from one chat to another. This means you’ll have to go the long way round and copy the text and then paste it in another chat. This might not be too much of a hassle for most.
- No more voice messages, stickers or any other type of media in chat.
- You will not be able to create groups. To be fair there are enough of those as it is but if you still want to be part of a new group, members can still add you.
- No chat history back up
- You won’t be able to use click to chat.
- Exporting chat history is off the table. So if you thought you could export and send those chats to Telegram after the 15th of May think again.
- Lastly and hilariously you won’t be able to “@” people or quote messages in group or personal chats.
So what WhatsApp is basically saying here is that it will throw you back to what the app was like when it launched all those years ago save for being able to answer video and voice calls.
What are you going to do? Accept the terms? Delete WhatsApp and move to another app? Or are you going refuse to agree to the terms and use WhatsApp version 1.0?