WhatsApp will start sharing users’ phone numbers with Facebook, allowing for more relevant advertisements and friend recommendations on the social network. But what exactly does that mean?

1) Why is this happening


The move is WhatsApp’s first update to its privacy policy since it was acquired by Facebook in 2014. The company says this update will make it easier for users to understand and it will reflect WhatsApp features and services, such as WhatsApp calling, WhatsApp for web etc…

The most recent change is the biggest – over the next few months WhatsApp is planning to explore ways for businesses to send messages using its platform.

2) Will I be spammed?

WhatsApp promises that won’t happen, saying messaging service will not be littered with “third-party banner ads and spam”. Instead its meant to allow businesses and users to communicate with each other; whether its your arline telling you the flight’s been delayed, a receipt for something you purchased, or a notification when a delivery will be made.

3) Privacy! I don’t want Facebook seeing my messages

The popular messaging app recently rolled out end-to-end encryption, a move meant to ensure that a user’s messages can only be read by the person it’s sent to. WhatsApp promises that nothing has changed.

“Not WhatsApp, not Facebook, nor anyone else. 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.”

It also promises that nothing you share on WhatsApp, including your photos, and account information, will be shared onto Facebook or any of the Facebook family of apps for others to see.

4) So what will Facebook get?

WhatsApp says while it will share some information, like the phone number you verified when you registered with the messaging service, as well as the last time you used our service.

5) Can I say no?

You have the option to decline the new policy.

According to WhatsApp’s legal page, “If you are an existing user, you can choose not to have your WhatsApp account information shared with Facebook to improve your Facebook ads and products experiences.”

Existing users who accept the new policy will have an additional 30 days to make this choice by going to Settings > Account.

6) What if I’m not on Facebook

Then don’t worry about it – you can keep using WhatsApp and you don’t need to create a Facebook account.

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