When apps like WhatsApp were launched, carriers were worried that the service would cost them in terms of SMS charges. However fast forward to today, carriers such as those in the US have opted to start offering users more data instead, especially in today’s data-heavy market where videos, audio, photos, and etc. are traded more freely than ever.
However in Brazil, it seems that the government could be agreeing with the lobbyists as they have ordered WhatsApp to shut down in the country for the next 48 hours, starting from 9pm Eastern Time. No doubt this is bad news for many Brazilians especially when you consider that WhatsApp is the single most used app in the country.
According to the numbers, it has been estimated that 93% of the country’s internet population relies on WhatsApp, so this shut down will no doubt highly inconvenience many users. Of course texting still remains an option but given that WhatsApp allows users to call and text people.
It also provides access to Brazil’s youth and the poorer population with access to features that they might not be able to afford if they were to choose more “standard” plans from local carriers. That being said, WhatsApp being ordered to shut down isn’t the craziest thing right now. Brazil’s Congress has also been circulating bills that would criminalize the posting of certain social media content, and allow the government to spy on its citizens. Yikes! We guess we’ll just have to wait and see how this one plays out.