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CALL ME, DEFINITELY

Indians favour WhatsApp over any other platform for video calls

A man looks through his phone's camera.
REUTERS/Amit Dave
Can you see me?
Manavi Kapur
By Manavi Kapur

Culture and lifestyle reporter

Months into the pandemic, video calling has become second-nature for several Indians.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp is leading the charge. The messaging app emerged as the top choice for Indians to make video calls, according to a survey conducted by LocalCircles, a community-led social media engagement platform. The survey, conducted between Aug. 5 and 20 included 24,300 respondents.

WhatsApp has over 400 million users in India, and the country is its biggest market.

JioMeet, a video calling platform launched by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani-owned Jio Platforms in July, had just 4% takers.

Despite concerns over privacy issues with Zoom, only 15% expressed their desire to switch from well-established platforms to JioMeet. Nearly 20% respondents said that they don’t trust the platform, which was criticised for allegedly plagiarising the user interface of US-based Zoom.

Privacy, though, continues to remain a key concern, with 70% saying that they want their video calls data to be stored within India.

The Indian government banned 59 Chinese apps in July, citing data security concerns in the wake of cross-border tensions with China. But the clamour for data localisation has been gathering force since 2018. India has been debating the personal data protection bill, which lays down a framework for storing user data locally in India, but these norms are yet to be crystallised.

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