The creators of WhatsApp certainly couldn’t when Facebook made that offer.
But many users of the WhatsApp messaging app are not happy and have taken to Twitter saying that they will delete the app.
The problem is ads. Facebook’s business model relies on ads, and uses the things you tell your friends, the pages you like, and the videos you share to analyse you so it can sell you stuff. Some people are cool with that. Others are disturbed by it.
WhatsApp grew in popularity in part because it didn’t sell ads. It charges users $US1 per year instead. In June 2012, co-founder and CEO Jan Koum, who came from the advertising world of Yahoo, explained:
These days companies know literally everything about you, your friends, your interests, and they use it all to sell ads. When we sat down to start our own thing together three years ago we wanted to make something that wasn’t just another ad clearinghouse.
Remember, when advertising is involved you the user are the product.
With news of this acquisition, Koum, who will join Facebook’s board of directors, is promising users: “Here’s what will change for you, our users: nothing.” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is also promising that Facebook will not put ads in WhatsApp.
But not everyone is buying that. A bunch of people have taken to Twitter and other social networks to say that they are deleting WhatsApp since Facebook is buying it.