Info-tech

5% of Indian users have deleted WhatsApp, 22% claim reduced usage: Survey

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on January 29, 2021

WhatsApp earlier this month announced that it has updated its terms of service and privacy policies which were set to take effect on February 8

Though a majority of Indians are still actively using WhatsApp, aware users and early adopters are shifting to alternative apps following WhatsApp’s latest privacy update according to a survey by LocalCircles.

According to the survey, 67 per cent of Indians are still actively using WhatsApp, while 5 per cent have deleted the platform. Another 22 per cent have reduced usage.

WhatsApp earlier this month announced that it has updated its terms of service and privacy policies which were set to take effect on February 8. The Facebook-owned messaging platform has started to notify users regarding the change. The messaging app had then postponed its deadline to implement this policy from February 8 to May 15, 2021 following backlash from users.

LocalCircles had released a survey earlier this month to highlight citizens’ response to WhatsApp’s updated terms and rising concerns regarding WhatsApp’s data-sharing practices with parent company Facebook.

According to the survey, 15 per cent of users had indicated that they will stop using WhatsApp and move to other platforms.

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Concerns and criticisms

Following rising concerns and criticism from users, WhatsApp had issued clarification highlighting how the new update will not impact users’ private chats with friends or family. It had further detailed the data that will be shared with Facebook following the update which is primarily for its people-to-business features.

According to LocalCircles’ latest survey, 75 per cent or more WhatsApp users in India have said that will completely stop using business chats and payments if WhatsApp were to implement its policy.

93 per cent of respondents said that they will not use the platform’s payment features if it shares payment and transaction information with Facebook and third parties. While 18 per cent of WhatsApp users said they plan to continue using WhatsApp same as before.

“WhatsApp latest policy seems to have led a section of users, mostly aware users or early adopters shifting to alternative instant messaging platforms, like Signal and Telegram,” the report said.

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Currently, 21 per cent of respondents said that they were actively using alternative messaging apps.

“WhatsApp must reconsider its monetization approach because with what it has proposed, even if a sustainable migration doesn’t take place to alternate platforms, the survey suggests that a large majority are likely to stay away from business account chats and using the payments feature which defeats the purpose of this entire exercise,” LocalCircles said.

“The key for the platform is to rethink monetization and perhaps move from an advertisement based monetisation to aggregate data based monetization or transaction based monetization,” it added.

Published on January 29, 2021

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