WhatsApp is shaking hands with Facebook (NYSE:FB) to share your information


WhatsApp has announced that it will start to share some user data with its parent company, Facebook (NYSE:FB) by bringing out some changes in its privacy policy. Global messaging service WhatsApp says that it will share the phone numbers of its users so that they could soon start seeing more targeted ads on Facebook. WhatsApp is giving its users a limited time to withdraw from sharing their information with Facebook, although they must take the extra step of unchecking a box to do so. It also ensured that Facebook won’t post phone numbers online or give them out to anyone.

“[B]y coordinating more with Facebook, we’ll be able to do things like track basic metrics about how often people use our services and better fight spam on WhatsApp,” WhatsApp mentioned in a blog Today.

“Facebook can offer better friend suggestions and show you more relevant ads if you have an account with them. For example, you might see an ad from a company you already work with, rather than one from someone you’ve never heard of.”

“Our belief in the value of private communications is unshakeable,” WhatsApp said in the post.

WhatsApp said that it will also explore ways for businesses to send messages to its more than one billion users by using its platform over the next several months.

WhatsApp tested making business by dropping its $1 token fee for some of its users earlier this year through the service.

The ads would come through a Facebook program called “Custom Audiences,” which lets a business upload lists of customers and phone numbers or other contact information. Facebook will show the ads to users by matching the list to users with the same information. Facebook says it doesn’t give out users’ information to advertisers.

Privacy groups have appreciated WhatsApp for making it impossible for the company or anyone else to read users’ messages by building powerful encryption into its services. WhatsApp promises that encryption will remain, so neither WhatsApp nor Facebook would be able to use message content for advertising purposes.