I grew up in a society where everything you did was eavesdropped on, recorded, snitched on. I had friends when we were kids getting into trouble for telling anecdotes about Communist leaders.
It's important for people to have freedom to use whatever product they want. We have no problems with other people using other apps, so long as they keep using 'WhatsApp'.
Our phones are so intimately connected to us, to our lives. Putting advertising on a device like that is a bad idea. You don't want to be interrupted by ads when you're chatting with your loved ones.
Ironically, I grew up watching Indian movies as a kid in Russia. I am quite familiar with Bollywood. I grew up watching 'Disco Dancer;' I watched it some 20 times as a kid.
We're somewhat lucky here in the United States, where we hope that the checks and balances hold out for many years to come and decades to come. But in a lot of countries, you don't have these checks and balances.
As long as our user base continues to grow, at some point it will have critical mass, and at some point it will tip, and at some point, people will just have to use WhatsApp because their friends are using WhatsApp.
We're not advertisement-driven, so we don't need personal databases.
People need to differentiate us from companies like Yahoo! and Facebook that collect your data and have it sitting on their servers. We want to know as little about our users as possible.
I grew up watching 'Disco Dancer'. I watched it some 20 times as a kid.
Nobody should have the right to eavesdrop, or you become a totalitarian state - the kind of state I escaped as a kid to come to this country where you have democracy and freedom of speech.
In some ways, you can think of end-to-end encryption as honoring what the past looked like.
The encryption genie is out of the bottle.
'WhatsApp' began as a simple idea: ensuring that anyone could stay in touch with family and friends anywhere on the planet, without costs or gimmicks standing in the way.
Our focus remains on delivering the promise of WhatsApp far and wide so that people around the world have the freedom to speak their mind without fear.
Utilities get out of the way. Can you imagine if you flipped a light switch and had to watch an ad before you got electricity? Can you imagine if you turned on a faucet and had to watch an ad before the water came out?
People have SMS, right? It stinks. It's a dead technology, like a fax machine left over from the Seventies, sitting there as a cash cow for carriers.
I had so much fun in early days learning about networking, security, scalability and other geeky stuff.
A lot of times, people start out with a lot of good ideas, but then they don't execute. They lose the purity of their vision. You end up running around in circles.
The message growth rate in Brazil - it's not like a hockey stick: it's like a vertical line.
Everybody I meet who uses 'WhatsApp', I ask them a question: 'How did you hear about it?' And they say, 'My friends, my sister or my brother, somebody I know hounded me to install WhatsApp.' We think there is more power to the network when it grows organically.