Whatsapp

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gerryh
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Whatsapp

Postby gerryh » Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:28 pm

Both my wife and I and, so it is claimed, do one seventh of the world's population, use Whatsapp.
What intrigues me is how do they make money out of it?
I didn't have to buy it or pay any subscription and it isn't supported by ads.
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Gerry
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northandsouth
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Re: Whatsapp

Postby northandsouth » Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:16 pm

Aren't they under the Facebook umbrella now? In which case........

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gerryh
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Re: Whatsapp

Postby gerryh » Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:24 pm

Yes, Facebook did buy it for a reported $19 billion.
But how does it make money?
It was supposed to be something like 95 pence a year after the first year but I never got asked for any money.
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Mike Lytt
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Re: Whatsapp

Postby Mike Lytt » Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:59 pm

Data Mining? Information = $$$$$$. 700 million users information, habits etc in a database is an unquantifiable resource to have a their disposal and obviously Facebooks.

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Re: Whatsapp

Postby northandsouth » Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:21 pm

gerryh wrote:Yes, Facebook did buy it for a reported $19 billion.
But how does it make money?
It was supposed to be something like 95 pence a year after the first year but I never got asked for any money.
Cheers
Gerry
Yes it was .99 us cents per annum after the first year but that was dropped a few years ago now. Mind you that would have generated a few quid because there were a fair few million users even back then. My daughter is a director at Wunderman in London and they specialise in social media advertising. I've asked her about it and to be honest I glaze over because it is so complex, it's another world Gerry.

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Re: Whatsapp

Postby chrissiehope » Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:37 pm

I would imagine that Mike Lytt is right - you've only got to look at how facebook suddenly starts showing ad related to something you've taken an interest in (like following a link to an article), or how 'people you may know' will randomly have someone you do know among the many you don't (my sister popped up out of the blue, closely followed by my brother in law - not that sister's husband - and a guy I have sent Xmas cards to for years !!). So your interest is noted & then sold to a suitable firm so they can target you in due course ;-)

Ever get the feelong someone is watching you ...? :-D
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Re: Whatsapp

Postby Flexo » Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:21 am

Facebooks entire business idea is to sell information about you to others, not necessarily to show you ads through Facebook. Big difference.

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Re: Whatsapp

Postby Wicksey » Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:02 am

I have just joined the whatsapp world but I am not on Facebook so not sure if that means they know less about me or not! I didn't give any personal info when I set it up but I too was wondering how it is run for free (but then Skype is similar if you only use it to Skype others within the system).

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gerryh
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Re: Whatsapp

Postby gerryh » Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:12 pm

Same here.
WhatsApp only knows my phone number.
They claim that all messages and calls are secured with end-to-end encryption such that WhatsApp and third parties can't read or listen to them.
So, besides for my phone number what information can they gather?
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Gerry
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Re: Whatsapp

Postby Flexo » Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:33 pm

Facebook has tracked non-facebook users for years, there is a class action lawsuit against them in Ireland because of it. When you buy a mobile phone it comes with pre-installed apps that you often cannot remove without rooting it, and these apps send information to Facebook about you, what you are doing, what stores you go into, sometimes even who you are talking to, sending messages to and so forth.

Sometimes Facebook knows more about you than you do yourself even if you are not a Facebook user. This may sound absurd but it is because they can deduce things about you because they have such a large statistical database. It is like you go into one store, and then another store and then voila, they can deduce you are a homosexual because the chance that a non-homosexual would visit those stores within a certain timeframe is so small and then they can inlude that information in the package they sell about you to anyone that is willing to pay for it.

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Re: Whatsapp

Postby gerryh » Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:40 pm

Perhaps Facebook can do that, it is disabled on phone. But my original question was how does WhatsApp make money?
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Gerry
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Re: Whatsapp

Postby Mike Lytt » Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:41 pm

Flexo wrote: It is like you go into one store, and then another store and then voila, they can deduce you are a homosexual because the chance that a non-homosexual would visit those stores within a certain timeframe is so small and then they can inlude that information in the package they sell about you to anyone that is willing to pay for it.
So it follows that by your absurd "homosexual" example if I pay for my wifes underwear in more than one store they can assume that I'm a cross-dresser?

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Re: Whatsapp

Postby HarryJ » Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:39 pm

gerryh wrote:Perhaps Facebook can do that, it is disabled on phone. But my original question was how does WhatsApp make money?
Cheers
Gerry
By exploiting the massive amounts of information in its database you would assume.
Cheers
Harry

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gerryh
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Re: Whatsapp

Postby gerryh » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:03 pm

Sorry, but except for phone numbers what other information does WhatsApp hold in their database?
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Re: Whatsapp

Postby HarryJ » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:22 pm

Any Personally Identifiable Information that they are able to collect from the individual users use of their service as laid out comprehensively in their terms of service.

A brief extract below

"We may share your Personally Identifiable Information with third party service providers to the extent that it is reasonably necessary to perform, improve or maintain the WhatsApp Service. We may share non-personally-identifiable information (such as anonymous User usage data, referring / exit pages and URLs, platform types, asset views, number of clicks, etc.) with interested third-parties to assist them in understanding the usage patterns for certain content, services, advertisements, promotions, and/or functionality on the WhatsApp Site. We may collect and release Personally Identifiable Information and/or non-personally-identifiable information if required to do so by law, or in the good-faith belief that such action is necessary to comply with state and federal laws (such as U.S. Copyright Law), international law or respond to a court order, subpoena, or search warrant or equivalent, or where in our reasonable belief, an individual’s physical safety may be at risk or threatened"

https://www.whatsapp.com/legal/#terms-of-service

If you still require more information as to exactly what data/bigdata/metadata they collect then I suggest you pose your question to them by way of direct email.

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Re: Whatsapp

Postby john the baptist » Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:49 am

I thinking that whatsapp were getting so big that they they had to be bought to be controlled. They could of killed off FB messenger, eventually Skype if they wanted to, and even email. It makes charging for texts pointless and they had the ability to expand to reduce FB impact in the world. The database is valuable but its what they could have been which is the true hidden value.

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Re: Whatsapp

Postby Flexo » Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:16 pm

gerryh wrote:Sorry, but except for phone numbers what other information does WhatsApp hold in their database?
Cheers
Gerry
The metadata is what it is all about. Metadata often much more interesting to the big data companies than the data itself, because they can build up correlations from it. Particularly when they combine it with data from other apps or sources.

A simple example: Google can figure out what *beep* clips a particular user was looking at ten years ago even if they did not use Google to find it, and never logged in to a Google account from that computer. This is because correlational data. They have already gathered so much information that when you eventually logs in to Facebook or Google or one of their fringe apps (like Whatsapp) they can correlate the data from you with what they already have. That way they can backtrack a substantial part of your digital life.

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gerryh
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Re: Whatsapp

Postby gerryh » Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:13 pm

Assuming what you say in your simple example is correct then, short of stop using a computer connected to the internet, there isn't a lot I can do about the data gathering. :think:
I don't think I will lose any sleep over it. :wave:
Cheers
Gerry
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Flexo
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Re: Whatsapp

Postby Flexo » Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:19 am

There is plenty you can do but the best first step is to be aware of what they can do so you don't get caught with your pants down further down the line. There is this great meme with Jennifer Lawrence with the tag line "I don't know what is weakest, your acting or your iCloud password".

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gerryh
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Re: Whatsapp

Postby gerryh » Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:25 am

OK so what can I do to reduce the amount of data collected about me?
Cheers
Gerry
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