“Nobody knew in the beginning that Facebook would become a Frankenstein monster that devoured user data and spat out dirty money.”
What you need to know
- WhatsApp’s former head of business has expressed huge remorse over the sale of the app to Facebook.
- Neeraj Arora says the company promised it would not introduce ads, mine user data, or use cross-platform tracking.
- He lamented that WhatsApp is now “a shadow of the product we poured our hearts into” and that he and others regret joining Facebook.
The former Chief Business Officer of WhatsApp, Neeraj Arora, has expressed huge remorse over the part he played in selling to Facebook in 2014, stating the platform is now a shadow of what it once was.
In an extensive thread on Twitter Arora wrote:
In 2014, I was the Chief Business Officer of WhatsApp.
And I helped negotiate the $22 billion sale to Facebook.
Today, I regret it.
Arora says that after riposting an offer in 2012/13, Facebook (now Meta), came back with an offer “that made it look like a partnership”, including promises to offer full end-to-end encryption support, no ads (ever), complete independence on product decisions, their own office, and more.
He said they made their stance about no mining of user data, no ads, and no cross-platform tracking “very clear”, stating that Facebook seemed to agree. “We thought they believed in our mission,” he added.
Arora went on to say that “of course, that’s not what happened,” eventually leading to co-founder Brian Acton’s famous “delete Facebook” tweet in March 2018. He lamented that WhatsApp, while being the second largest platform at Facebook/Meta, is now “a shadow of the product we poured our hearts into,” ending with some rather strong words:
Nobody knew in the beginning that Facebook would become a Frankenstein monster that devoured user data and spat out dirty money.
Despite Arora’s rather grim outlook on the state of WhatsApp, it remains one of the best iPhone apps for communication on devices like the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 thanks to its strong cross-platform integration and the fact that it’s free.