WhatsApp released a blog post yesterday, announcing plans to begin sharing your information with Facebook. Companies will also be able send you messages directly.
This strategic policy change does not necessarily come as a surprise. WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook for $19 billion in 2014. It has yet to generate revenue for the social networking giant.
Facebook won’t post your phone numbers online or give them out to anyone. You will however not be able to opt out of your data being shared with the social network.
Am I alone in sensing something fishy here? The agreement seems to appear one-sided. For those that understand logical operators this is more like an Either-AND operator which as we know does not exist. On one end you can decide whether or not to agree with WhatsApp sharing your number on Facebook. However, you can’t really decide when it comes to your data being shared.
The Good Side
According to the blog post, sharing users’ phone numbers with Facebook would help tackle spam and abuse, as well as offer people “better friend suggestions and more relevant ads”. Using the data, Facebook will be able to match people who have exchanged phone numbers, but have not added one another as “friends” on the social network.
WhatsApp will also share information about when people last used the service, but said it would not share the contents of messages, which are encrypted.
The Bad Side
Well, for those who are more private, this will definitely be quite scary to them as social media platforms are on the rise with making life become quite uncomfortable for the reserved lot.
However, speaking as an entrepreneur, I think there’s an upside to this turn which is that we all need a wider audience-reach in our businesses and having access to targeted ads will do us more good than harm.
How to Opt Out
- When prompted to accept the updated terms and conditions, tap Read to expand the full text
WhatsApp and Facebook accounts will remain separate. The service will not be merged with Facebook’s other chat-based service Messenger or photo-sharing service Instagram. But all services under Facebook will gain access to WhatsApp users’ phone numbers and other account information, and it can be used to suggest contacts be added as friends.
Once again remember, terms and conditions apply!!!