WhatsApp Starts Sharing Data With Facebook As It Preps Business Tools


WhatsApp recently updated its terms and conditions as it prepares to bring new business capabilities and adverts to the platform.

The world-beating messaging app is plotting a number of new features that would help connect users with brands, having added a number of business-orientated tools earlier this year.

And the app has announced it will soon launch new ways for businesses and users to communicate, despite promising not to flood the platform with third-party banner ads and spam.

In a recent blog post, WhatsApp explained: “Whether it’s hearing from your bank about a potentially fraudulent transaction, or getting notified by an airline about a delayed flight, many of us get this information elsewhere, including in text messages and phone calls.”

The company wants to test these features in the next few months, which is why the Facebook-owned app is updating its terms & conditions and privacy policy.

And these updates confirm that WhatsApp will now start to share user information with Facebook.

The changes, which must be approved by each user, will allow Facebook to use WhatsApp’s user data to surface and tailor ads to members, along with enabling WhatsApp to bring relevant adverts to the messaging platform.

The move also enables Facebook to get the phone numbers of WhatsApp users – data it has been trying to get from users for a while, as many have been unwilling to offer it up.

WhatsApp said that by connecting users’ phone numbers with Facebook, the social network will be able to offer “better friend suggestions” and show more “relevant ads”.

In a blog post the company said: “For example, you might see an ad from a company you already work with, rather than one from someone you’ve never heard of.”

Outlining the updates, WhatsApp said that by coordinating more with Facebook, it will also be able to track metrics around usage, as well as better fight spam.

Back in February, the app announced it had hit 1bn users, meaning 1 in 7 people in the world use the messaging platform every month.

In April, the Facebook-owned app also switched on end-to-end encryption for all messages sent between users.

Read more about the privacy changes here.