WhatsApp sets its sights on the US

From The Verge: With more than 2 billion users, WhatsApp is already one of the most popular messaging apps in the world. But its largest markets are all outside of the US. Now, Facebook, the parent company of WhatsApp that recently rebranded to Meta, is hoping to change that.

Starting this weekend, Meta is kicking off the first-ever US marketing push for WhatsApp, focusing on the privacy offered by the app’s encryption. The first TV ad will air Sunday during the AFC Championship Game, comparing unencrypted messages to a stranger opening your physical mail. Similar ads touting WhatsApp’s privacy will soon start appearing on billboards around the country and online.

The goal of the marketing push is to get more people in the US to switch to WhatsApp by highlighting the app’s security relative to other texting methods like SMS, according to Meta’s head of WhatsApp, Will Cathcart. “What we’re seeing in the US is that, especially over the last couple of years with COVID, people are doing much more of their life online,” he tells The Verge. “But there is a real gap in how much people are using services with end-to-end encryption in the US compared to everywhere else in the world.”

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