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WhatsApp message about 'Martinelli' video is a hoax, but WhatsApp Gold warning is real

The Independent - Tech

A message spreading around WhatsApp warns about a dangerous threat – but it is the post itself that is a scam. The wording, which instructs people to pass it on to their friends, suggests that a video is about to come out that could endanger people. But there does not actually appear to be any "Martinelli" video, and so WhatsApp users are not in any danger from it. Many people are passing on the message in a genuine effort to keep their friends and family safe. But that is leading the warning to spread quickly across the platform, despite the fact that the video it is warning about does not seem to be real, and that the wording has been around for more than a year.


Why Facebook might be about to ruin WhatsApp

The Independent - Tech

In 2012, two years before Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion, the founder of the messaging app explained his feelings towards advertising by quoting Fight Club: "Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need." Jan Koum – who this week stepped down as WhatsApp's chief executive amid privacy and data concerns – described why the targeted advertising model used by other technology firms like Facebook was an "insult" to users and distracted from the core purpose of his firm's aim to keep people connected. "These days companies know literally everything about you, your friends, your interests, and they use it all to sell ads," he said in a blogpost. "At every company that sells ads, a significant portion of their engineering team spends they day tuning data mining, writing better code to collect your personal data… remember, when advertising is involved, you the user are the product." When Mr Koum subsequently sold WhatsApp to Facebook in 2014, many users were rightly concerned that the social network giant would force the messaging app to compromise these principles in the pursuit of profit.


Simple hack which allows you to read deleted WhatsApp messages

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Few of Facebook's acquisitions have attracted more attention that when it purchased Instagram and WhatsApp Facebook has acquired dozens of companies in the years since it was founded in 2004. It has acquired startups and companies to build out its efforts in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, messaging, chatbots and other technologies. Some deals have remained secretive, but few attracted attention more than its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp. Other than Instagram and WhatsApp, the only acquisition that matches them in dollar value was when it acquired Oculus for $2 billion in 2014. Here is a timeline of Facebook's WhatsApp and Instagram acquisitions: April 2012: Facebook acquires Instagram for a whopping $1 billion.


How to Stop WhatsApp From Giving Facebook Your Phone Number

WIRED

WhatsApp's privacy settings are changing, and not for the better. As of today, the phone numbers of WhatsApp users will be shared with parent company Facebook. This will allow Facebook to run analytics on user activity and send you friend requests for people you talk to in WhatsApp. And of course, it will allow Facebook to serve targeted ads to WhatsApp users. Thankfully, there is a way to opt out of this.


WhatsApp ads are coming to its 'Status' stories

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

After being free to use for years, details are starting to come out about just how Facebook will monetize WhatsApp, the popular mobile messaging app it purchased for $19 billion in 2014. According to India's The Economic Times, WhatsApp vice president Chris Daniels revealed that the company is going to start putting ads in the "Status" feature of the app. "We are going to be putting ads in'Status'. That is going to be primary monetization mode for the company as well as an opportunity for businesses to reach people on WhatsApp," Daniels told reporters in India, according to the report. 'Status' is WhatsApp's version of Snapchat, Facebook or Instagram Stories, consisting of quick posts and videos that disappear after 24 hours.