WhatsApp Co-Founder Tells Everyone To Delete Facebook. What’s In It For Him?

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Written by Dana Sanchez

In 2014, Facebook bought WhatsApp for $16 billion, making its co-founders — Jan Koum and Brian Acton — very rich.

Koum is still leading WhatsApp. Acton, who is worth $6.5 billion according to The Verge, quit WhatsApp earlier this year to start his own foundation — the Signal Foundation. In a Twitter post on Tuesday, Acton told his followers to delete Facebook.

“It is time,” Acton wrote, adding the hashtag #deletefacebook.

Acton’s tweet reached more than 21,000 of his followers, Deadline reported. He’s one more voice — and a stakeholder — in a growing movement to delete Facebook as a social media platform.

The movement is gaining momentum after a report that Cambridge Analytica used personal information from 50 million Facebook users without their permission during the 2016 presidential campaign. The data firm was backed by Donald Trump supporter Robert Mercer and once steered by former Trump advisor Steve Bannon.

Apparently, Facebook knew about the data leak in 2015 but the public only found out this weekend. The #deletefacebook has movement.

Facebook saw its stock price plunge on Monday and Tuesday following concerns over data privacy in the wake of the report on user data misuse by Cambridge Analytica. Regulators and politicians are pressuring Facebook to explain its privacy safeguards.

Acton sold Whatsapp to Facebook for $19 billion in 2014 — the largest deal in Facebook’s history.

In February he invested $50 million in Signal, an independent alternative to WhatsApp, according to The Verge.

Another former Facebook executive expressed concern about the company after leaving it.

Chamath Palihapitiya, who joined Facebook in 2007 and became its vice president for user growth, said he feels “tremendous guilt” about the company he helped make.

“I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works,” he told an audience at Stanford Graduate School of Business, before recommending people to take a “hard break” from social media.

delete Facebook
Mark Zuckerberg with Jan Koum. Photo: DropOut Dudes

WhatsApp is now one of the biggest mobile messaging apps with 1.3 billion active monthly users.

Following Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp, Acton donated nearly $290 million to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Daily Mail reported.

The foundation commissions research and partners donors with nonprofits.

According to Acton’s Twitter, he was turned down for a job at Facebook in 2009. The same year he bought an iPhone and decided the App Store — which at the time had only been around for seven months — was going to rapidly expand, Daily Mail reported.

Acton launched the Signal Foundation in February. It’s a nonprofit that’s developing technology that “protects free expression and enables secure global communication.”