After provoking "confusion" with the rollout of a privacyupgrade that caused many users to quit the programme, WhatsApp is starting itsfirst global campaign to show its 2 billion users that their data is safe.
In January, the Facebook-owned company made a contentiousmodification to its terms of service, which sparked outrage among users whobelieved they had no choice but to accept the privacy update or risk beingremoved from the app.
Some users were also concerned that the shift will result insensitive data being shared with Facebook's sister company. WhatsApp claimed ithad been the victim of misinformation at the time.
However, this led in a boom in new sign-ups for competing apps.Signal, which, like WhatsApp, promises "state-of-the-art end-to-endencryption," reported "extraordinary" growth in the aftermath ofthe controversy, as did Telegram.
WhatsApp's director of brand and consumer marketing, EshanPonnadurai, claims that the company "saw firsthand" how users cherishprivacy and that now is the ideal time to teach them about how their data isprotected.
The campaign, dubbed "Message Privately," tries toillustrate how its end-to-end encryption protects user privacy with"industry-leading capabilities" in "everyday life."
“We understand the value of privacy to our users. This year, we'vewitnessed firsthand how we caused some confusion and anxiety among our users,as well as how concerned they were about their privacy and the fear that otherswere reading their messages,” adds Ponnadurai.
“This campaign is very much coming out in the public to address someof that, and to ensure that people realize and continue to understand thateverything they communicate on WhatsApp — the important things they say, therelationship they have – is always protected and really theirs.”
WhatsApp has launched a privacy campaign
The campaign, which was created in collaboration with BBDO, willroll out in stages, starting with the UK and Germany, the company's largestuser areas, and then moving on to Mexico, Indonesia, India, and Brazil in thecoming months.
The first video, "Double Date," depicts a couple trying tocommunicate as their date is overrun by their matchmakers, but they manage toestablish a private connection via the app. Meanwhile, ‘Dream Job' follows thecourse of an office worker who receives a message informing her that she has anew job and can leave her old one.
KPIs including reputation, sentiment, and brand health will be usedto gauge the campaign's success. According to Ponnadurai, the brand performs alot of social listening, and metrics that measure whether people believeWhatsApp is private are already "quite strong," but the company willcontinue to track them to see how the campaign affects them.
In order to measure the mood of its users, the company will do a lotof social listening.
“We're fortunate in that we have a really powerful brand and somereally amazing metrics,” he says, “but it's really just about making sure thatpeople feel heard and seen throughout the campaign.”