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76% people see rise in pesky calls with WhatsApp business accounts

Around 76% of respondents have claimed that they have noticed a rise in pesky calls or SMS based on their conversations with WhatsApp business accounts and their activity on Facebook or Instagram, online survey firm LocalCircles said on Wednesday.

According to the survey conducted between Feb. 1-20, 95% of WhatsApp users surveyed by LocalCircles in India indicate that they get one or more pesky messages each day, out of which 41% claim to get four or more such messages daily.

When contacted, a Meta spokesperson said that Whatsapp has built systems that make it faster for WhatsApp to suspend a business from sending messages when people provide feedback they have had a low-quality experience.

“If a business receives excessive negative feedback we may limit or remove a business’ access to WhatsApp,” Meta spokesperson said.

LocalCircles said that to understand if users were having such an experience based on the privacy policy changes and to quantify the magnitude of such instances, it asked respondents if they are seeing an increase in unsolicited commercial messages on WhatsApp based on their conversation with WhatsApp business users or your activity on Facebook or Instagram.

“Nearly three fourth or 76% of the 12,215 WhatsApp users who responded to this question stated that they are seeing an increase in pesky or unsolicited commercial messages based on their conversations with WhatsApp business accounts and their activity on Facebook/Instagram, the platforms owned by Meta in addition to WhatsApp,” the survey report said.

The survey claims to have received over 51,000 responses from citizens located in 351 districts of India.

LocalCircles said that the survey finding indicates that the majority of WhatsApp users surveyed are using tools available to them like blocking or archiving and yet the spam messages are continuing indicating that the senders are also switching numbers or that there are so many of them that the menace continues.

“Majority or 73% out of 12,673 respondents to this question indicated that they exercise the option to block the numbers from where the unsolicited commercial messages come,” the report said.

The Meta spokesperson said that the user’s choice is key and provides them the option to block a business account.

“We would like to share that at WhatsApp, users’ choice is at the core of what we do. Messaging is the new way to get business done that is better than SMS, e-mail, and the phone, which have become overloaded and spammy. Our rule is that whether people want to talk to a business or not, the choice is that of our users,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson shared it constantly works with businesses to ensure messages are helpful and expected.

“We allow businesses to only send a certain number of messages per day… We’ve recently added the ability for businesses to create a simple way for customers to opt out of receiving certain types of messages right within the chat,” the spokesperson said. PTI

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