WhatsApp has made a u-turn on their advertising policy of years. The world’s most popular messaging app now wants to share your phone number with Facebook. In February 2014 Facebook bought Whatsapp for a staggering US$19 billion and has until now not made moves to make money using the app. On Friday, Facebook announced that Whatsapp would start sending phone numbers and analytics to Facebook. The bid is in a move to allow Facebook to suggest friends using the information collected from your chat and to allow facebook to show relevant ads to users. This is very contradictory to the stance that Whatsapp have taken since inception
Advertising isn’t just the disruption of aesthetics, the insults to your intelligence and the interruption of your train of thought. (excerpt from Whatsapp website on why they don’t sell ads)
What this means
Facebook says they will not publish your phone number but will use it for their friend suggestion algorithm. This means peope with your number might start seeing popups of your profile suggesting friendship on Facebook. This connection will also help Facebook deal with spam accounts.
How to opt out
Now for a number of reasons if you do not feel comfortable with this new arrangement there is a way out. Users have 30 days to opt out
Terms and Conditions
When you update WhatsApp to the latest version, a terms and conditions popup will appear. Read through them to understand what its all about and decide whether you want to opt in or not. If not then scroll all the way down to uncheck the accept box and continue.
For those that already accepted the new terms and conditions unknowingly and want to undo this there is a way. Go to settings, then account. You’ll find a brief description of what accepting the terms and conditions means as well as a check box. Just uncheck it and you are done.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Once you opt out you cannot opt back in