- I deleted WhatsApp for a year and here's what I learned | Technology | The Guardian
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A t the end of , I sent a message to all my contacts: Instead, I will use Threema and Signal. During the first minutes of , I saw my friends typing on their phones while mine remained unusually silent. Suddenly I was not available anymore. It felt strange, uncomfortable, daring and good. My initial reasoning for such a drastic step had little to do with mindfulness or the want of being disconnected. I had installed WhatsApp in only because all my friends had it. By the end of , the ubiquitous chat app started to send me annoying periodical reminders that it would stop working because the operating system of my beloved Nokia phone was no longer supported.
I deleted WhatsApp for a year and here's what I learned | Technology | The Guardian
The notifications made me wonder whether I should be using non-Facebook-owned alternatives and stop spending so much time on convenient but seldom meaningful chats. My defiance turned into a social experiment: My app-stinence had a promising start. Good friends sent text messages during New Years Day, called or responded to my calls. Instead of typing and recording messages, I returned to having actual conversations on the phone. My family and closest friends even installed one of the new non-Facebook messaging apps I had suggested, but suddenly I went from having 70 contacts to just 11 on my list.
At the beginning, I often felt isolated and as if I had abandoned friends. Some contacts ebbed away, while I had to withstand the odd awkward look of disbelief and discontent from others when I explained that I did not use WhatsApp. After a few weeks, I noticed that I checked my phone less, did not scroll through my contact list to look for updated profile photos or send messages to people low on the conversation list just to say hello. I began to read more. But I also learned what it meant to miss out and not to be part of groups anymore.
When I met friends, I needed to be updated about earlier group exchanges. The feature appears to still be rolling out to everyone, and while it's not currently available on Android, I'd expect to see it made available soon.
Conflicts soon arose over how WhatsApp would make money. Facebook scrapped the cent annual charge, and Koum and Acton continued to oppose the advertising model. Facebook executives wanted to make it easier for businesses to use its tools, and WhatsApp executives believed that doing so would require some weakening of its encryption.
Ultimately, Koum was worn down by the differences in approach, the people said. Other WhatsApp employees are demoralized and plan to leave in November, four years and a month after the Facebook acquisition, when they are allowed to exercise all their stock options under the terms of the Facebook deal, according to the people. Koum posted on his personal Facebook confirming his departure, but not stating any reasons other than it being time to move on:. It's been almost a decade since Brian and I started WhatsApp, and it's been an amazing journey with some of the best people.
But it is time for me to move on. I've been blessed to work with such an incredibly small team and see how a crazy amount of focus can produce an app used by so many people all over the world. I will miss working so closely with you. I'm grateful for everything you've done to help connect the world, and for everything you've taught me, including about encryption and its ability to take power from centralized systems and put it back in people's hands.
Those values will always be at the heart of WhatsApp. It's unclear who will be replacing Koum's shoes as CEO of WhatsApp, and over the coming months, it'll be interesting to see if his absence has any impact on WhatsApp's features or policies. WhatsApp announced in a blog post today that they've rolled out a new feature for iOS and Android that allows users to share their location in real time with family or friends.
You can choose who can see where you are and for how long, too, so you have full control over your privacy. Here's how to use it:. With that, everyone in the chat will be able to see your real-time location on a map. If more than one person shares their Live Location in the group, all locations will be visible on the same map. This way, you can easily find your friends you want to meet up with or share your location with all your family members to let them know that you're safe.
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The app essentially meshes together traditional messaging services, social media, and your phone for a fully-immersive messaging platform with a little added sprinkle of security with end-to-end encryption:. Some of your most personal moments are shared with WhatsApp, which is why we built end-to-end encryption into the latest versions of our app. When end-to-end encrypted, your messages, photos, videos, voice messages, documents, and calls are secured from falling into the wrong hands.
With WhatsApp, you don't have to pay any fees because it uses your iPhone's internet connection to let you message and call friends and family and there are no subscription fees to use WhatsApp: WhatsApp has over million users in India, the company's co-founder Jan Koum said in a tweet in February The app's India user base was million in November , meaning that it gained 40 million users in roughly 4 months… Over million voice calls are made on WhatsApp every single day, allowing people to connect with each other without incurring huge costs. Start a large or a small group chat with your other contacts and keep the conversation going with family and friends if you're working on a project together, planning a surprise party, etc.
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Send and receive WhatsApp messages from your contacts directly from your computer! No Usernames or Pins: Why bother having to remember yet another username or PIN? WhatsApp works with your phone number, just like SMS, and integrates seamlessly with your phone's existing address book! One great feature about WhatsApp is the ability to always be logged in so you never miss a message from someone.
WhatsApp does a terrific job of weeding out the contacts in your address book who don't have the App, so you won't have to worry about scrolling through your massive list of contacts to find the right person. With WhatsApp, you can even share your location, set custom wallpapers and sound notifications, exchange contacts, email chat history, receive offline messages, broadcast messages to multiple contacts at once, and so much more! In order to sign up for WhatsApp, all you need to do is enter your phone number.
You'll promptly get a text with a confirmation code: From this section of the WhatsApp app, you can update your status with an almost Snapchat-like feel: You can even add filters to it! You can dial up a friend or a family member from the Calls section of WhatsApp.
Tap the phone icon with the plus sign in the upper right corner and your contact list will appear. From there you can select if you want to voice-chat or video-chat with someone. Only your contacts that also use WhatsApp will be displayed in your contacts list, so you won't need to worry about accidentally calling someone without the it. From the Calls section, you can also see your call history and any calls you've missed recently.
The camera section is where you can snap an image to send directly to a contact or share on your status updates.
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You can choose to either take a picture or video on the spot, or pull one up from your camera roll. This particular section also gives you access to camera adjustments like flash and dark light adjustment, so you have a bit more precision when you're snapping your WhatsApp masterpiece. The chats part of the app is where you can send and receive messages from family and friends, start group messages, and even tell friends to get on WhatsApp so you can all chitty-chat on the same platform!
When you hit the new message icon in the upper right corner, it instantly brings down the contact list of your friends who are on WhatsApp. You can choose to either start a group chat or a single-person conversation and go from there.