Why do people use WhatsApp?

John Gruber on the clinch that WhatsApp and Facebook are having with European regulators:

Remember when WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum adamantly reassured their users that the Facebook acquisition would not change anything?

These folks are a bunch of liers that sell you out at the blink of an eye.

I wonder why so many people - basically everyone where I live — rely exclusively on WhatsApp for messaging. After all, privacy concerns rank rather highly in Germany’s public mind. WhatsApp is not even a very good messaging app!

From my perspective, iMessage is seemingly insignificant in Germany, most likely because the majority of people opt for (cheap) Android phones over iPhones and these people all default to WhatsApp. Only a minority of my contacts are “blue-bubble friends” and many of these are often bewildered if they receive an iMessage instead of “a WhatsApp”. The advent of iMessage stickers hasn’t changed this at all. Instagram Direct, Facebook Messenger, Threema or Snapchat as cross-platform alternatives don’t have an empirically significant share in everyday messaging, either.

It’s hard to escape the pull of this herd instinct but I am still hoping for a change of heart among younger folks and millenials. If there is a group that seems adamant to change, however, it’s the Baby Boomer generation that has fully embraced Facebook and WhatsApp in recent years. I bet Mom and Dad are the ones that drive most of Facebook’s growth and revenue these days. If they want WhatsApp and Co., let them have it. But count me out.