WhatsApp joined its own Status feature on Tuesday in an attempt to combat misinformation regarding the changes to their privacy policy. WhatsApp will also use the feature to share information about changes to the app and upcoming features.

This follows after the chat app’s new privacy update caused millions of WhatsApp users to abandon the service and head over to Telegram or Signal instead. At the time of publishing, Telegram gained approximately 90 million new users.

Signal gained around 50 million new users, with even South African-born Tesla CEO Elon Musk giving the service a shoutout on Twitter. WhatsApp realised that they lost users’ trust, and are now aiming to repair the relationship.

WhatsApp’s privacy status updates

In addition to WhatsApp pushing back the policy rollout, some of you may have noticed WhatsApp itself popping up in the list of new statuses yesterday. The first of four status updates announced that “WhatsApp is now on status”, followed by:

“We’ll let you know about new features and updates here”.

WhatsApp Status update, slide 1

whatsapp privacy policy status update

The second slide reminded users that WhatsApp is still committed to our privacy, despite the recent backlash among users, following the policy update announcement at the beginning of January.

WhatsApp vowed to share more updates in the coming days. They used this foray into Status updates to remind readers that they cannot read our personal conversations, thanks to end-to-end encryption:

“WhatsApp can’t read or listen to your personal conversations as they’re end-to-end encrypted.”

WhatsApp Status update, slide 3.

whatsapp privacy policy status update

What is end-to-end encryption

End-to-end encryption is used when you chat with another person. End-to-end encryption ensures only you and the person you’re communicating with can read or listen to what is sent, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp.

With end-to-end encryption, your messages are secured with a lock, and only the recipient and you have the special key needed to unlock and read them. All of this happens automatically, you won’t have to fiddle with the settings.

Users should make sure that their chats are end-to-end encrypted. In order to verify that a chat is end-to-end encrypted: open the chat, tap on the name of the contact then open the contact info screen.

You should then tap Encryption to view the QR code and a 60-digit number.

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