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WhatsApp’s Ex-Chief Business Officer Neeraj Arora Explains Why He Regrets Selling to Facebook

Former WhatsApp Chief Business Officer Neeraj Arora recently talked about his regret of selling the popular messaging app to Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook back in 2014.

In a long Twitter thread, the man behind the whopping $22 billion sale, talked about how he and the app’s founders in Jan Koum and Brian Acton made the mistake of trusting Facebook to stick with the promises the company made during negotiations.

Initially, the company now named Meta first made its intentions of a possible acquisition during 2013. However, Arora, who was then a 2 year veteran at WhatsApp, rejected the offer with the founding duo in order to grow more.

Facebook came knocking at the door again in 2014, and the trio were now willing to sell the app with some conditions.

Arora and his team had various demands, which included full support for end-to-end encryption, no ads, a seat at the board for Jan Koum, and many more. Along with that, Facebook even agreed to support their mission of keeping the app afloat by charging users with a $1 fee to install it on their phones.

WhatsApp even wanted to make sure that Facebook didn’t mine any data, while also preventing cross-platform tracking as well. Arora revealed that the management at Facebook agreed to their demands. However, four years following the $22 acquisition, things changed drastically.

Facebook tried monetizing the app during the second half of the decade. This saw a lot of pushback from the founders to the point, where Brian Acton walked away from the company, while also leaving $850 million at the door.

Months after his departure, Facebook was embroiled in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which prompted Acton to tweet “#deletefacebook”. Acton has since gone on to create Signal Messenger, a WhatsApp competitor that prides on its privacy features.

Arora ended the thread by noting that the trio didn’t expect Facebook to be a company that mined and sold user data. However, he urged tech companies to acknowledge the mistakes they might have made, and become much more accountable in order for the “tech ecosystem to evolve”.

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