*WhatsApp has banned about 20 million accounts in India – The Hindu BusinessLine

Clipped from: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/todays-paper/tp-others/tp-variety/whatsapp-has-banned-about-20-million-accounts-in-india/article65294433.ece

Crackdown may dent user base growth, but experts say it will boost user quality

It has been less than a year of WhatsApp releasing its user safety monthly reports under the new IT Rules and the messaging platform has already banned nearly 20 million accounts, which is likely to impact its user base growth rate in India. WhatsApp had released its first user safety report in July 2021.

Monetisation play

Industry experts call it a way to have the right users on the platform as the app has matured beyond its user acquisition phase.

“Having spam users on Whatsapp will reduce its popularity. At its current stage, the app is more about monetisation and that will happen when the quality of users is optimum. It is about having the right users using the platform for the right purpose,” Sanchit Vir Gogia, Chief Analyst and CEO, Greyhound Research, told BusinessLine.

“Fewer users also mean deep engagement. The focus is more on making users reliant on the platform and introducing features to make it more sticky,” he added.

Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst, techARC,told BusinessLine, “ This is an attempt to cleanse the system. It will surely hit the pace of user acquisition but it will instil faith in serious users and make them feel that they are on a reliable system. WhatsApp is making existing users less vulnerable to problems.”

Queries emailed to WhatsApp didn’t elicit a response at the time of publication.

WhatsApp has been quite active in expanding its WhatsApp for Business service. Several top consumer tech apps — including Uber, Upstox and JioMart — have announced integrations and partnerships with it. Users won’t need leave WhatsApp or download these apps to avail their services.

Super app

This, along with WhatsApp’s popularity as a messaging app, gives it scope to eventually become a super app.

“It can become a super app as it has the right underpinnings. However, its payments growth has been slower than expected. It should have been more aggressive,” Gogia said.

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