“In the coming weeks, we’ll display a banner in WhatsApp providing more information that people can read at their own pace,” WhatsApp writes in a blog post. “We’ve also included more information to try and address concerns we’re hearing. Eventually, we’ll start reminding people to review and accept these updates to keep using WhatsApp.”
According to a WhatsApp spokesperson confirmed that users will ultimately have to agree to the new terms by May 15, when the new policy goes into effect.
The new terms more explicitly address the role Facebook plays in enabling these interactions. As The New York Times pointed out last month, this could result in interactions with businesses on WhatsApp influencing the ads you see on Facebook.
Whether the new messaging will be enough to repair the damage that was already done is less clear. The fallout resulted in a surge of interest in alternative messaging apps, like Signal and Telegram. In its blog post Thursday, WhatsApp addressed the renewed interest in competing services, saying that “we understand some people may check out other apps.” But the company also implied that these services may be less “reliable and safe” than WhatsApp.
“Other apps say they’re better because they know even less information than WhatsApp,” the company said. “We believe people are looking for apps to be both reliable and safe, even if that requires WhatsApp having some limited data.”