The Federal Trade Commission on Monday voted to issue orders to nine major internet platforms requiring information about how they handle data for a new study. The orders, which do not implicate any legal wrongdoing, were sent to Amazon, ByteDance (the parent company of TikTok), Discord, Facebook, Reddit, Snap, Twitter, WhatsApp and Youtube. The agency is requesting information about how the platforms collect, use, track or estimate personal and demographic information.
When Univision announced expanded local news apps for seven of its top markets this week, one of the platforms for “integrated social media sharing capabilities” was a channel you won’t usually see in similar English-language-station releases. It’s WhatsApp, the world’s most popular messaging app, but one that’s little-used by U.S. newsrooms.
The WhatsApp mobile app may be relatively peripheral to U.S. users, but in Latin America it’s essential. That’s why Univision is using it as a tool to send out brief but constant bulletins to Caribbean users being battered in this brutal hurricane season.
Facebook is taking the long view with its purchase of the popular smartphone messaging service. WhatsApp has 450 million monthly users, 70% of whom use it every day. The service is adding a million new users a day. There are 19 billion messages sent and 34 billion received via WhatsApp each day, in addition to 600 million photos and 100 million video messages.