3 November 2017

whatsapp encryption ukfastDid you notice that Whatsapp was down earlier today?

The messaging app was wiped out across Europe for around an hour, with disruption reported across Vietnam, India, Singapore, Mozambique and Iraq.

Whilst the outage was relatively short, it is interesting to see how the digital world responded. The Express ran a live update on the progress of the messaging app; the other news sites had stories posted within minutes. Is one app being down really headline news?

And, despite being able to revert back to Facebook messaging, texts or iMessage – the Whatsapp outage caused outrage across the web. Users flooded Twitter with posts asking if everyone was down too. Interestingly Whatsapp have not updated their official Twitter account since February 2014 – around the same time that rival social network Facebook acquired the messaging service.

Why are we so reliant on Whatsapp?

When did we become so reliant on this simple technology and why do we prefer it over others? Is it Whatsapp’s encryption policy?

The response to not being able to use one of a multitude of messaging apps was, if I am honest, preposterous. It highlights our reliance on the big, multinational tech companies who are dominating the way we send and receive information.

To me, a few moments’ peace from the constant influx of notifications is no bad thing! It’s a reminder to pick up the phone and call people instead. Or to just put the phone down completely and switch off. Make the most of it!

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