Any opinions on Whatsapp?

A friend is asking me to install it. I am hesitant because I know Facebook owns it and I don’t use the Facebook app because its permissions are obnoxious. I also know Whatsapp is very very popular (especially in Europe and Asia). So, does any one have experience using it? Am I being needlessly worried about the permissions? Any and all info is appreciated. Thanks.

My relatives urged me to join it, and I did so, and instead of things like updates on family happenings, I get all the stupid crap that people used to mas e-mail instead of posting on WhatsApp - videos that someone thinks are funny (probably only after drink or drugs), glurgy videos - not even real videos, it’s a story you could read in three seconds, stretched out to 2:30 by sappy music and text presented one line at a time in some calligraphic font - and a spate of “Happy Birthday” texts on each participant’s birthday.

Unless you’re certain that your friend is of higher intellectual caliber than my relatives (a somewhat low bar, I’ll admit), don’t get sucked in.

I use it for occasional free video chat. It works well. It is cross platform - iPhone and Android. I am not aware of them doing anything questionable with permissions although I am not particularly paranoid.

I really like it, but then I’m texting with folks in other countries. When I’m home, I keep it open in my web browser rather than using my phone. When I was traveling in Europe with various family members on their own itineraries and a wide variety of mobile phone situations, it was a way to communicate no matter how we acquired signal.

Yes, it’s good for texting with people in other countries, as well as for making free international phone and video calls. The stupid videos and glurge are a function of who you know, not part of the application itself.

I use it to communicate with my friends in Europe. As mentioned above, the app itself doesn’t send you garbage, that’s a result of who your contacts are. The one glitch in the app is that is easy to accidentally make a phone call when you’re using the app to text. But, you’re not going to be charge for an international call, so it’s just a minor inconvenience.

Whether I like it or not is irrelevant. It’s the default texting app here in Israel, and thus inescapable. Not having it installed is tantamount to not having a phone at all.

That said, I basically do like it. It’s simple, streamlined and versatile, and you can set certain groups (like my son’s class’s parents group) on silent mode if you want.

It rocks! It is all we use here. And it is free!

If I try to send a video to my daughter via email, I get a message that the file is too big. With WhatsApp it flies away. Plus it tells you when it is received and when it has been read.

Get onboard!

I installed it when my daughter was living in Germany, and still use it now she is in Hong Kong. Plus it is the app of choice for the committee of a conference in India which I advise. Never have gotten any junk from it. Works great for me.

It’s the default here for social communication - including the PTA, various hobby groups, and ad-hoc groups like attendees at a festival or the like. I like it, and you can always mute anything too annoying.

Note also that WhatsApp chat sessions are end-to-end encrypted between the participating devices. Even WhatsApp / Facebook can’t read those messages in transit.

It’s basically replaced text messages for me.

It’s free in the sense of not costing money, but not in the sense that it respects your freedom. It’s a proprietary application that you will never be able to control. If you value your privacy and security, you’re better off not using it.

Isn’t that like saying that since reading causes eyestrain, it’s better to deliberately remain illiterate?

The messages themselves might be end to end encrypted and Facebook can’t read the contents, but they do have the metadata. They know who talks to who, when, and how often. Don’t underestimate what can be done with just that info.

Big fan here as well - helps me keep in touch with my brother in Brazil

Its the default messaging app in Brazil.

All of my relatives use it and we have a group chat which makes keeping up with family news easier. It does become a pain in the ass during Brazilian elections as they argue constantly.

No, it’s not at all like saying that.

If you don’t want the disadvantages of using proprietary software, then you can use non-proprietary software instead. If there is no non-proprietary software that does what you need, then you can help write it yourself, or if you’re not a programmer, you can support its development in other ways.

And what exactly would they do with that data? Phone companies have always known the numbers you’re calling. Before that, even the telegram office would know who you’re sending a telegram too.

Right, because freeware never has any bugs or viruses. I trust WhatsApp *because *I know it was developed by a public corporation,and not a bunch of Moldavian scammers.

It’s a moot point, anyway. The utility of a communications system is a direct function of the amount of people using it. You could have the best messaging app in the world and it would be utterly useless if you and your friends were the only people who had it. Maybe someday, someone will invent - and more important, disseminate - the perfect non-proprietary program; until that happens, the only option is to use the ones people are already using.

It’s fine, it’s easy to make groups and haven’t encountered any slowness or bugs.