WhatsApp dials up search for Asia Pacific comms lead

WhatsApp is on the search for a head of communications in Asia Pacific to oversee its long-term communications strategy as well as develop and maintain relationships with media and opinion leaders. The appointed individual will be based in Singapore and is also expected to execute PR programmes from proactive pitches highlighting positive uses of the product to feature launches and partnerships. According to the LinkedIn job posting, he or she is also expected to manage external PR agencies to support these efforts and work with cross-functional teams both in the region as well as in California.

The ideal candidate should have at least 15 years of professional experience in communications and PR, as well as experience working with tech, corporate and mass media. At the same time, WhatsApp is also hiring for at least four other roles as seen on LinkedIn: lead strategic client manager, WhatsApp partnerships; partner solutions manager, business messaging; associate general counsel, security (Asia Pacific); and solutions engineer for the India market. According to LinkedIn, the roles are all based in Singapore.

WhatsApp caused an online stir earlier this year after its updated terms of service asked users to allow parent company Facebook and its subsidiaries to collect user data, phone number and location. While the content of the messages are said to remain encrypted, WhatsApp said previously that the data collected would presumably allow for more targeted advertisements on the Facebook-owned platforms and allow the network to invest more into areas such as eCommerce.

New installs of WhatsApp dipped 11% days in the first seven days of 2021, Sensor Tower said previously and more than 100,000 users installed Signal while Telegram saw over 2.2 million downloads then. Shortly after, WhatsApp clarified in a blog post and on social media that the policy update does not affect the privacy of users' messages with friends or family in any way. Instead, the update includes changes related to messaging a business entity on WhatsApp, and provides further transparency about how WhatsApp collects and uses data.

It also listed seven things it cannot do even after the privacy update. Among the list included viewing private messages or hearing calls, as well as keeping logs of everyone who is messaging or calling. WhatsApp also clarified that it does not share users' contacts with Facebook. At the same time, the company also rushed to calm Indian consumers by rolling out ads in at least 10 English and Hindi newspapers. It also specified that the privacy policy changes only concern users' interactions with businesses.

Photo courtesy: 123RF

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