Facebook acquiring WhatsApp for a staggering $22 billion was one of the biggest app acquisitions made in the tech world until recently, when Elon Musk tried to purchase Twitter for $44 billion (still in the process, the deal is not done yet). Regardless, Neeraj Arora, former Chief Business Officer of WhatsApp, expressed his disappointment over the deal. Arora said he “regrets” the deal he help facilitated between WhatsApp and Facebook. (Note - Stick to the end of the story to see actual screenshots of Tweets from Neeraj Arora).
Looks Like Facebook Didn’t Keep Its End of Promises
Arora explained that when Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook approached WhatsApp in 2012/13, WhatsApp had refused the buyout to keep growing further. However, in early 2014, Facebook again reached out to WhatsApp with an offer that Arora says looked more like a “partnership” than a buyout.
WhatsApp was very clear about its stance on no mining of user data, no ads (ever), and no cross-platform tracking. However, Arora said, that didn’t happen. By 2017 and 2018, things started looking completely different.
In 2018, details revolving around one of the biggest scandals between the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook came out (if you don’t know about this, there’s a documentary on Netflix that’s a must-see).
Brian Acton, co-founder of WhatsApp, on March 21, 2018, tweeted, “It is time. #deletefacebook”. Arora said that today, WhatsApp is the second-largest platform of Facebook, even bigger than Instagram or FB Messenger.
Before ending his series of tweets, Arora called Facebook a “Frankenstein monster that devoured user data and spat out dirty money.”
Facebook (now Meta) has not yet introduced ads on WhatsApp. However, there were reports in early 2020 which said that Facebook was planning on bringing ads to WhatsApp, and they would be visible on the ‘Status’ area just like the ads we see on Instagram. Since nothing has happened yet, it doesn’t mean it can’t happen in the future. Further, WhatsApp says that user chats are end-to-end encrypted and can’t be read by the company or anyone else.