WhatsApp Will Share User Data With Facebook For Targeted Advertising and Battling spam
The new update will also positively affect Facebook‘s Custom Audience ad platform for businesses, by displaying more “relevant ads” by pulling data for different phone numbers associated with the two services.
“For example, if you sign up to your local flower shop’s mailing list using the same mobile phone number that you use for your WhatsApp account, and they decide to advertise on Facebook, you may see their ads on Facebook,” the WhatsApp rep explained.
Thankfully, users will be able to opt out of sharing information with Facebook “for any sort of products or ad experiences”, although their phone numbers will still be shared between both services.
Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion, its biggest buyout, in February 2014. WhatsApp is Facebook’s second most-used app after its main social networking app, which has 1.44 billion mobile monthly users.
WhatsApp, founded by Yahoo veterans Brian Acton and Jan Koum in 2009, has announced several changes in recent months to attract more users. In June, it launched its web platform to allow users to use the messaging app from a personal computer. In January, it decided to drop its annual subscription fee.
In India, WhatsApp faces competition from Kavin Bharti Mittal’s Hike, which raised $175 million (Rs 1,170 crore) from China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd, Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group and other investors this month. Viber, Line and Tencent’s WeChat are the other messaging apps that compete with WhatsApp.