WhatsApp, Facebook Inc’s popular messaging service, announced that it will start sharing users’ phone numbers with its parent-company,
allowing for more relevant advertisements and friend recommendations on the social network.
The change in policy, WhatsApp’s first since the deal with Facebook in 2014, will allow for more relevant advertisements and friend recommendations on Facebook, according to a WhatsApp blog post.
“…as we announced earlier this year, we want to explore ways for you to communicate with businesses that matter to you too”
Whatsapp emphasized on their blog that everything will stay private
We won’t post or share your WhatsApp number with others, including on Facebook, and we still won’t sell, share, or give your phone number to advertisers.
But if they are not sharing our numbers with Facebook how can they connect our numbers to them
And by connecting your phone number with Facebook’s systems, Facebook can offer better friend suggestions and show you more relevant ads if you have an account with them.
And if there is no personal information attached to the numbers how the heck is Facebook going to use our numbers to suggest friends?
Over the next several months, WhatsApp will also explore ways for businesses to send messages using its platform so you can get a notification from your bank or airline for example.
The company also maintained that messages on the service were encrypted by default and that it would not allow banner advertisements from third parties.
WhatsApp offers full encryption of text, images and even videos ever since their update was rolled out earlier this year.
“Our belief in the value of private communications is unshakeable,” WhatsApp said in the post.
Founder of Whatsapp, Jan Koum had outlined his approach to privacy in a blog post after the deal with Facebook, drawing on his own experiences of growing up in Ukraine during the Soviet era.
WhatsApp, however, sought to reassure users by saying that it would not sell, share, or give users’ phone numbers to advertisers.
The popular messaging platform which has more than 1 billion active users globally, is now facing the effects of being owned by Facebook. Actually the 1 billion users will face the effects, it was clear that Zuckerberg didn’t pay $19 billion to keep the users safe and happy.
Despite its enormous popularity WhatsApp has lots of competition, all of them fighting for a piece of the big messenger app market. Google has introduced its Duo app for Android and iOS in August and Telegraph is steadily gaining on popularity, so even a $19 billion price tag doesn’t guarantee success,for ever.
(With agency inputs.)