WhatsApp Veering Closer to Traditional Social Media

August 29, 2018

Next week, the publisher of Beyond Search and producer of DarkCyber (Stephen E Arnold) will be delivering a lecture in Washington, DC. The subject? The “new” Dark Web. Encrypted chat is becoming the go to system for certain types of information and product / service transactions.

What’s the angle?

The meteoric rise of group text and chatting tool, WhatsApp, has been well documented. In a world of tangled social media webs, this seemed like a smaller, more concentrated way to get updates from friends and family. However, the app has made some recent additions that may take it more toward the Facebooks and Twitters of the world. We learned more in a recent Make Use Of story, “The Best New WhatsApp Features You Might Have Missed.”

Among the new tools:

“Catch-up: A new @ button appears at the bottom right corner of the chat when you’ve been mentioned by someone, or if someone has quoted you, while you were away. It’s easier to catch up on something you might have missed.

“Protection From Re-Adding: WhatsApp groups don’t need your consent to add you to a group. Now, if you leave that group, an admin can’t just add you back immediately.”

In addition, there are search features and tools for deleting messages. It should come as no surprise that the program’s co-founder is a former (technically current) Facebook employee. Is this a step toward becoming a more direct competitor of the social giant? But encrypted chat has larger implications. If you are in DC, write Stephen at darkcyber333 at yandex dot com. You might be able to set  up a short meet up at a physical coffee shop. No chat required.

Patrick Roland, August 29, 2018


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