Losing Facebook is bad, but losing WhatsApp is worse

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

In the chaos of Monday’s Facebook outage, it’s easy to lose sight of the company’s reach. Not being able to post a new photo to Instagram is an annoyance, but it’s not necessarily catastrophic. Yet for WhatsApp users, especially outside of the US, losing Facebook’s encrypted messaging service is a life-halting change, and one competing messaging services were eager to capitalize on today.

In February last year, WhatsApp announced it had 2 billion users worldwide. Compare that to original flavor Facebook’s 2.5 billion and it’s easy to see how many lives WhatsApp touches. It’s become the default method to contact people in plenty of countries, including around 400 million unique monthly users in India Bloomberg writes. That goes beyond…

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