WhatsApp is India's most preferred messaging app despite its fake news problems: Survey

Of 1,520 Indians surveyed, 50 percent said they use WhatsApp every day to connect with family and friends.

WhatsApp's been plagued with fake news. WhatsApp has been the hub for rumours. But does that affect the platform's popularity? Not so much for the Indian audience, it seems.

survey report titled “Social Media/Messaging Platforms In India” by social and consumer research agency AudienceNet, states that the majority of the respondents in India chose WhatsApp as their preferred choice of messaging platform.

The survey, conducted this February, puts together responses from 1,520 Indians in urban areas, over the age of 18. Of these respondents, 50 percent said that they use WhatsApp every day to connect with family and friends, and 87 percent said that they use the app several times a day.

WhatsApp is Indias most preferred messaging app despite its fake news problems: Survey

Representational image.

While 'catching up with friends' was the most popular use of the app, many said they also use the platform to discuss hobbies and make life-changing announcements such as securing a new job or getting engaged.

Image: AudienceNet

Image: AudienceNet

Besides sharing personal information, the respondent also said that they trust WhatsApp with sensitive business data, using the platform for getting in touch with customers in India and abroad. Over 60 percent of the people said WhatsApp has helped them increase sales.

Reportedly, about 87 percent of the respondents believe that WhatsApp has been taking proactive steps to curb the spread of misinformation on the platform.

Image: AudienceNet

Image: AudienceNet

Further, 78 percent of these respondents also trust that WhatsApp would keep their personal information safe. Meanwhile, 86 percent feel that it is important for content, images, messages, etc to be encrypted.

Lately, WhatsApp has taken several steps to tackle the problem of misinformation on the platform, especially with the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 underway.

WhatsApp has recently restricted message forwards to only five people in one go, rolled out awareness advertisements on TV and radio, did street theatre to reach smaller corners, rolled out 'Checkpoint Tipline', and is working on more feature for limiting forward messages.

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