“Strong encryption is a necessity in modern life,” WhatsApp said.
“Strong encryption is a necessity in modern life,” WhatsApp said. Pexels

App used by a quarter of the world

WHATSAPP has revealed more than two billion people now use the app.

The staggering figure represents roughly a quarter of the world's total population.

The surprise announcement puts WhatsApp just behind its owner Facebook, which has 2.4 billion active users.

"We are excited to share that, as of today, WhatsApp supports more than two billion users around the world," said WhatsApp in a blog post.

 

"Private conversations that once were only possible face-to-face can now take place across great distances through instant chats and video calling.

"There are so many significant and special moments that take place over WhatsApp and we are humbled and honoured to reach this milestone."

By contrast, Facebook crossed the two billion mark in June 2017.

 

 

The social media giant also doubled down on its controversial commitment to encrypted chats.

"Strong encryption is a necessity in modern life," WhatsApp said.

"We will not compromise on security because that would make people less safe.

"For even more protection, we work with top security experts, employ industry leading technology to stop misuse as well as provide controls and ways to report issues - without sacrificing privacy."

Facebook recently came under fire for its commitment to use encryption across WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger.

End-to-end encryption means your message is garbled into gibberish during transit, and can only be read in its true form by the sender and recipient.

 

That's because the contacts involved in the chat each have a "key" that decodes the message.

Anyone else (including Facebook) is unable to read the encrypted text.

It's an important privacy feature, and already one of the defining features of WhatsApp.

But some experts warn that encryption makes it more difficult to catch sexual predators and terrorists online.

 

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission


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