When Facebook bought WhatsApp back in 2014 for a reported fee that rose up to $22 billion, some experts predicted that at some point the social networking giant will find a way to enter into the space of the chat app. Even though the developers of the app have been adamant that the takeover will not change anything about WhatsApp, this was meant to happen at some point sooner or later.
Apparently, it is already happening, but as usual, it is happening in style. Facebook says that the data it receives from WhatsApp will remain private and will not be shared with any third-party advertisers directly. The goal of this move is to coordinate more with Facebook so as to build better-targeted ads for different markets.
If you have an account with a given company and your WhatsApp phone number is shared with Facebook, you will reportedly see more relevant ads related to this company on the social network. This will enhance communication with businesses that matter most to users and at the same time deliver users with an experience that comes without the annoying ads and spams from third party advertisers.
Facebook is a free social networking platform. However, this doesn’t mean your interaction with the platform doesn’t generate some money for the company. What happens is that the company examines different market segments and dishes out ads that are specific to a certain audience based on the data it collects from users. Now that this data will include WhatsApp phone numbers and probably other details, the social networking company will mine more user data even much better than before.
Considering the huge profits Facebook is collecting from its advertising services, this move is for sure justified. However, the company has made it is easy for those who feel a little creepy about their WhatsApp data getting out to the likes of Facebook. You can easily opt out of this data sharing program and keep using the app as before.
Since the feature is coming as an update, you will be notified of the impending changes. When the new privacy update is sent to you, hit the “Read” option and towards the end, you will come across an option to opt out of this data sharing plan. For those who already hit the “Agree” button without going further, there is an option in the Settings of the app and then hit the Account>Share my account info options. Again, simply uncheck the box against this sharing option and you’ll be out.
Another thing to note is that once you are into the program, you have 30 days to change your mind and opt out. Otherwise, Facebook and WhatsApp will assume that you are in and as such, this will stay on permanently.