Even as analysts said that WhatsApp’s decision to change its privacy policy, which entails sharing users’ account info with parent Facebook, is not a user friendly move, they believe most consumers will stick with the platform and not migrate to other instant messengers yet.

WhatsApp said the move will help Facebook offer more targeted advertisements on its own platform, while WhatsApp will continue to be ad-free.

“This is not a move for the consumers. They have no say…have been given no choice. In addition, they will be targeted with more advertisements,” Sanchit Gogia, CEO, Greyhound Research said.

He added that while Facebook has been able to monetise the other platforms it runs, such as Instagram and Facebook Messenger, it has not been able to the same with WhatsApp. Facebook has in 2014 bought WhatsApp in USD 19-billion deal.

 “WhatsApp offers huge opportunity…Facebook’s network will become a lot bigger, and so will the advertising opportunity,” he added. However, he added that this will not lead to reduction in number of users for the popular instant messenger as at present there is no other messenger with such huge base of users.

Smriti Kapoor, a WhatsApp user said since Facebook already takes a lot of data for eg what internet users are searching on google to customise ads, this will not be very different. “So, I will continue to use WhatsApp for now.”

Another WhatsApp user, Sujata Sen Gupta said WhatsApp forms that backbone of her personal as well as profeesional communication. “Till all my contacts move to another platform, I will have to continue using WhatsApp,” she said.

WhatsApp has over one billion users globally, with a significant chunk coming from India.

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