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WhatsApp hits 2 billion users, touts privacy, but issues remain

WhatsApp hits 2 billion users, touts privacy, but issues remain
[Photo: rawpixel]

Facebook-owned WhatsApp has hit a major milestone today: the messaging app has hit two billion users worldwide. That’s a gain of 500 million users in just two years, when WhatsApp last reported its user base metrics. The two billion milestone comes 11 years after the messaging app launched.

Announcing the milestone in a blog post, WhatsApp touted the security of its platform–and its new privacy website. WhatsApp rightfully points out it features strong end-to-end encryption, a basic necessity for any messaging app in today’s age. In recent months, the app has also added support for letting users choose who can invite them to group chats.

All this goes way beyond what WhatsApp-owner Facebook provides in its other messaging app, Facebook Messenger. However, WhatsApp can’t tout total privacy, as at least one hole remains: WhatsApp doesn’t allow users to hide or disable their online status, so anyone you’re connected with on WhatsApp can see when you are online, denying yourself true privacy.

Hopefully, WhatsApp will give users this increased privacy option sooner rather than later. In the meantime, WhatsApp definitely has something to celebrate. Few apps or platforms ever hit the two billion user milestone, and it’s a testament to the app’s popularity that it’s done so in little more than a decade.

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