The Facebook-owned instant messaging platform’s decision to update their privacy and terms of service brought about a massive ripple effect which is leading to a surge in WhatsApp defectors worldwide.
Now, to understand the depths of the same in India, LocalCircles conducted a survey wherein they found out that Indian WhatsApp users, much like the rest of the world, are very likely to drastically reduce their reliance on the messaging platform or simply move to other more secure platforms.
The survey received over a whopping 24,00 responses from WhatsApp users based in 244 districts of India. It highlighted that 15% of users in India are likely to completely abandon using WhatsApp while 36% of the respondents reported they will reduce their usage of the same.
Quite recently WhatsApp has provided further details about the upcoming change and clarified that the changes will be impacting only people-to-business chats. As part of the update, businesses which choose to use WhatsApp as their communication platform can also leverage Facebook’s hosting services along with using other features such as Facebook Shops.
Thus, in the case of people-to-business chats, certain data points will be shared with WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook. Also, as per the platform’s new FAQ page, Facebook’s hosting services will be labelled.
LocalCircles, in their survey, found out that 67 per cent of WhatsApp users are willing to discontinue business chat if the platform shares user and transaction information with Facebook and other third-party companies.
Thus, if one drills down into the survey findings, according to LocalCircles, it is very much possible for WhatsApp to lose over 60 million considering their user base currently stands at 400 million in India.
New Policy Changes To Impact WhatsApp Pay Adoption?
Apart from gauging the sentiments of Indian WhatsApp users about the upcoming changes, the LocalCircles survey also highlighted that policy and terms of service update might derail the adoption of WhatsApp Pay among users as well.
When the platform was given the green signal to gradually start rolling out their payments feature in India, a then conducted survey indicated that 29 per cent of digital wallet and UPI users were willing to migrate to WhatsApp Pay once it is rolled out country-wide.
In November 2020, WhatsApp Pay was officially launched in India. Now, however, when asked about the same, as mentioned earlier, 91 per cent survey respondents said they won’t use WhatsApp’s payments feature if their transaction data gets shared with Facebook and other third-party businesses.
All in all, the core problem lies at the fact that WhatsApp did a very poor job at communicating the upcoming changes to their platform which has led to a ton of confusion amongst users worldwide.
Therefore, now Facebook and WhatsApp must take note of the current situation and make necessary changes to their policy if they wish to retain their existing user base while also ensuring that WhatsApp Pay’s growth isn’t hindered. We will keep you updated on all future developments. Until then, stay tuned.