Jon Koum steps down as WhatsApp CEO amid Facebook privacy scandal

The founder of Facebook mark Zuckerberg has announced the launch of group video calling in the social network Instagram and WhatsApp messenger.

Post its acquisition by Facebook the WhatsApp user base has almost tripled to 1.35 billion active monthly users. The Washington Post reported that Koum also plans to resign from Facebook's board of directors.

San Francisco: In a jolt to Facebook, WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum has chose to move on amid reports that he had a difference of opinion with parent company Facebook over data privacy, encryption and other issues. This has been seen as a deal breaker and Jan had been informing Facebook staff and board of his decision to leave the organisation for quite some time. He did not give a date for his departure and could not immediately be reached for comment. Koum obscured that motive in his note that says, "I'll still be cheering WhatsApp on - just from the outside", according to Tech Crunch.

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Privacy is a key feature in the world of social media and is a popular selling point for the messaging app WhatsApp. "Those values will always be at the heart of WhatsApp". Koum sold WhatsApp to Facebook in 2014 for a jaw-dropping $19 billion. At that time Koum said that the purchase would not change anything for the users of the messaging service. In attendance will be more than 5,000 app software developers, some of whom may be WhatsApp users. This data was allegedly used to attempt to influence voter opinion during the 2016 US Presidential elections. Both features actually came to light back in February in the WhatsApp for Android beta, but it's nice to have official confirmation.

Read alsoZuckerberg: Facebook in "arms race" with Russia-backed groups - mediaBut the perceived invasion of WhatsApp user privacy drove a wedge between Koum and the parent company well before the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke. Previously, WhatsApp co-founder, Brian Acton left the company to start his own non-profit foundation.


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