Whatsapp faces security questions

|| May 17, 2019

By Jordan McDonald

55 comms social media coordinator

Welcome to this week’s blog – we touch on another security breach, the latest Netflix competitor, Uber’s newest feature, and a creative marketing campaign I found this week. Let’s dive in!

Whatsapp’s brush with trouble

Whatsapp this week fell victim to a privacy breach of their own when it was revealed that spyware had been found on user devices. The number of affected users is contained and small, at least in comparison to the better-known Facebook breaches, but this breach has caused widespread concern that may damage the Whatsapp reputation.

A significant portion of Whatsapp’s users enjoy the app because of its security and reliability which has allowed it to become one of the world’s most downloaded apps. Facebook recognised this and acquired Whatsapp a few years ago – then Facebook was found to breach data, and now Whatsapp users are questioning their ability to trust Whatsapp because Facebook’s security measures have been proven to be deceptive.

To be clear – Whatsapp users don’t feel deceived (it appears), but they are questioning whether or not they can trust the app’s security moving forward.

Get ready for a new streaming platform

Have you heard of Quibi yet? My guess is probably not – but you’re about to hear a lot more about the video platform because they just raised $US1.4 billion and are looking for $US1.4 billion more.

Quibi, short for ‘quick-bites’, is a short-form video platform conceived and birthed by former DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and aimed to compete convincingly against Netflix.

The plan is for videos to be under 10 minutes each, with TV and movies broken down into bite-sized clips.

There will be a $US5 ad-supported subscription option and a $US8 ad-free premium tier.

Speaking at the South by Southwest Conference in Austin earlier this year, Katzenberg said the platform would launch 100 pieces of content a week.

The company has so far announced plans to develop content with the likes of Naomi Watts, Jason Blum and Justin Timberlake. It also plans to produce ‘Frat Boy Genius’, based on the rise of Snapchat and its founder Evan Spiegel. The service is planned to start in 2020.

Quiet up front

Uber has finally given busy commuters and introverts the ultimate feature – quiet driver mode!

It’s as you’d imagine it – if you’re looking to use Uber but need some quiet, you’ll be able to select the option prior to getting picked up and be able to enjoy a guilt-free silent trip to your destination allowing you to continue working or simply enjoy your own company.

The feature is limited to the US at the moment but is expected to be rolled out to the rest of the world in the near future. I personally look forward to this feature hitting Australia!

True crime podcast surges

7News has found success in podcasts – the news network hosts a podcast called ‘The Lady Vanishes’ which has achieved 1 million streams in just 6 weeks. The podcast produced by 7NEWS focuses on the disappearance of Gold Coast resident Marion Barter, after the much-loved mother, teacher and friend stepped on a plane for an overseas adventure and was never seen again.

Marion Barter, the former wife of Australian soccer great, Johnny Warren, went missing in 1997. The circumstances surrounding her disappearance are bizarre but Marion’s daughter, Sally Leydon has never given up hope of finding her.

The podcast is her quest for answers and hitting the million listen milestone means she may be getting closer to finding out what happened to Marion Barter.

The success relies on the increasing buzz around podcasts at the moment as well as the consistent itch audiences have for investigative journalism, particularly a real mystery that’s impacted the lives of real people.

For me, it’s absolutely excellent to see such major attention brought back to an unsolved mystery, but it’s also great to see a leading traditional news giant start to explore newer technology and distribution as well as creating unique content.

Hopefully we see more of this in the near future.

Tapping into the Endgame

And ending on a light note – Coca-Cola Brazil has launched a creative new campaign for the Avengers: Endgame movie swapping out their existing can tabs with collectible Avenger pins.

There are 12 to be collected and if the Avengers’ fan-love is as obsessive in Brazil as it is around the world, I imagine shoppers will be buy Coke by the cartons!

That’s it for another week, enjoy your weekend.