Engage Web April 2018 - Engage Web

WhatsApp plans to ban under-16s

Posted on April 30, 2018

Facebook-owned messaging platform WhatsApp has recently revealed radical plans to stop users under the age of 16 from accessing the app as of next month.

The company is raising the minimum age of joining the app to 16, an increase of three years. Furthermore, this change is only for users within the European Union because of the changes to rules regarding data protection and the introduction of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), which comes into effect on May 25 and changes the way business can use data they have on their customers.

One of the new rules is that those under the age of 16 will not be allowed to join any online service without the consent of their parents and guardians.

Currently, WhatsApp has over 1.3 billion users on a monthly basis all over the world. A report by OfCom last year showed that 83% of UK children aged 12-15 owned a smartphone, with the stat being 39% for British youngsters in the 8-11 age category. Of those in the 12-15 category, 74% had set up an account on some form of social media (23% of 8-11s, even though they are not permitted to due to age restrictions). This would suggest that there are a lot of British kids who use WhatsApp already.

As the above statistics would suggest, this is something of an ambitious mission for WhatsApp, as it could prove tricky to make sure the younger generation does not get on, or back on, to the service. The company’s methodology behind this plan will either see it be a massive success or a tremendous failure. WhatsApp has not yet said how it plans to maintain its new age control.

If it is to set up a rigorous signup process that demands proof of age, this could put off people from joining the site altogether, plus what will it do to those who lie about their age to gain access, in a similar way to what they appear to do already?

GDPR remains a subject that many companies in the European Union are unsure about. The legislation will state that fine will either be up to €20m (£17.5m) or 4% of a company’s annual turnover. So for huge companies with many users, such as WhatsApp and parent company Facebook, these fines could be astronomical. Therefore, with the financial implications looming large over these companies, they will need to take GDPR seriously and think of ways to ensure they are compliant when it comes to these new age limits.

Posted by Alan Littler

How to download your Instagram data

Posted on April 27, 2018

With the GDPR compliance deadline now less than a month away and social media data sharing such a hot topic at the moment, many sites are making moves to offer more transparency on the data they hold about their users. Both Facebook and Twitter allow users to download the data the sites hold on them, and now (more…)

Posted by John Murray

Google looks to overhaul Gmail

Posted on April 26, 2018

Online giant Google has recently reveals plans to make changes to its email service Gmail by giving it its biggest revamp in the last five years.

The planned redesign has been in (more…)

Posted by Alan Littler

Is the internet bringing us together or driving us apart?

Posted on April 25, 2018

Two recent studies have come to very different conclusions about what the internet is doing to our happiness levels, wellbeing and relationships with one another.

The secret to happiness?

Norwegian researchers at the University of Oslo recently found that daily use of the internet can help keep us happy. In a study of over 100,000 people from (more…)

Posted by John Murray

Martin Lewis vs. Facebook – what’s it all about?

Posted on April 24, 2018

Few people come across as knowing what they’re talking about as much as Martin Lewis does. The founder of MoneySavingExpert.com is known for his advice on matters like energy bills, bank charges, student finance and any other money matters where he feels people are being short-changed. Reported to have a net worth of $100m (£71.7m), he was awarded an (more…)

Posted by John Murray

Google launches new messaging platform

Posted on April 23, 2018

Internet giant Google has officially launched a new free messaging service that will link up with users’ SMS text messages.

The new platform, which has (more…)

Posted by Alan Littler

Was Inter Milan’s latest social media drive too much to handle?

Posted on April 20, 2018

Earlier this week, Italian football team Inter Milan played Cagliari in the country’s national football top flight, Serie A. On paper, this sounds like just another league game, however, it was not (more…)

Posted by Alan Littler

Is it ‘tinpot’ to advertise jobs on Facebook?

Posted on April 19, 2018

Back in September, I wrote about an unusual online ripple that had been created amid Chester FC’s search for a new manager. Such is the way at Chester that just seven months on, the club is looking for a new man in the dugout once again.

Perhaps not surprisingly, this news has lead previous antagonist (more…)

Posted by John Murray
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