Most still don’t know Facebook owns WhatsApp

It may sound shocking but nearly 50 per cent of Americans who have used WhatsApp in the last six months have no idea who owns the popular mobile messaging platform. DuckDuckGo is an Internet search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers’ privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results. DuckDuckGo conducted a small study to investigate that phenomenon and the results were pretty striking.

According to the survey, the US-based privacy-protecting search engine, just over half of US citizens don’t know Facebook owns WhatsApp. The survey shows almost 50.42 per cent not knowing about it. This study randomly selected a total of 1,297 US adults. The selected individuals are collectively the general population of the US Adults. On August 16 2018, the survey was conducted.


In Detail

“Half of those who used WhatsApp in the past six months weren’t aware that Facebook owns WhatsApp,” said the survey. The findings also showed that nearly 60 per cent of those who used Waze in the past six months didn’t know that Google owns Waze. Well, for those who don’t know what Waze is, here is some briefing. Waze is a popular GPS navigation software. It works on smartphones and tablet computers that have GPS support. It provides turn-by-turn navigation information and user-submitted travel times and route details. All this happens simultaneously while downloading location-dependent information over a mobile telephone network.

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This means that most Americans using WhatsApp and/or Waze are doing so without realizing its consequences. Whether it be routes, travel time, messages, photos, or location data, all are being shared to Facebook (for WhatsApp). Google owns Waze as well. According to the survey, the lack of awareness over Facebook and Google’s reach is even more alarming. Therefore, more and more Americans are looking to take control of their privacy online.

A previous survey by DuckDuckGo a year back found that 56.9 per cent of American adults were unaware that Facebook owns Instagram. To add to that, what was shocking was 44.6 per cent did not even know that Google owns YouTube. Facebook in 2014 bought the company WhatsApp for $19 billion US dollars. Both WhatsApp co-founders – Brian Acton and Jan Koum – have quit Facebook now for a few reasons. A few reasons being data privacy and Facebook’s plans to monetize WhatsApp. This plan by Facebook for WhatsApp did not come into action so far.

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Vaibhav Tyagi

Vaibhav Tyagi

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