Commentary

WhatsApp Unveils Tight Security Measure

Security is now top-of-mind for many consumers. And appealing to this trendy sentiment, WhatsApp is now offering two-step verification to its entire user base.

With the feature, any attempt to verify a user’s phone number on WhatsApp must be accompanied by a six-digit passcode that they themselves created.

More broadly, cybersecurity is big business.

Last year, VC firms pumped $3.1 billion into 279 cybersecurity startups, according to fresh research from CB Insights. That was up from a paltry $833 million invested in 117 startup, in 2010.

Despite its billion or so users, WhatsApp isn’t quite yet the crown jewel of Facebook’s portfolio. That’s because the social giant is apparently struggling to monetize the messaging services along with Facebook Messenger.

“Although Messenger is widely used … consumers have been slow to warm up to the idea of interacting with chat bots and paid advertising in messaging applications,” eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson, told me last week.

“Meanwhile, Facebook has faced scrutiny in Europe over its plan to merge data from WhatsApp with data from Facebook,” Williamson noted. “These scenarios tell me that generating significant ad revenue from Messenger and WhatsApp is still a ways off.

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