Ignore the jargons and tech-speak. Whatsapp has updated it’s T&Cs and there is a lot of talk. So much so that there is confusion. So we have decided to break down what exactly these new policies mean. So let’s start with a few background information before we get into it.
1. Whatsapp was acquired by Facebook for $19 billion in 2014
2. While Facebook’s business model is built largely around advertising, Whatsapp from the beginning has had a no-ads policy.
3. A lot of people were skeptical about Whatsapp’s ability to stick to it’s principles after Facebook’s acquisition but so far, it hasn’t had any issues in relation to ads. Until now, that is.
4. On Thursday, Whatsapp updated it’s Terms and Conditions for the first time in four years according to a post on the Whatsapp blog. According to the post, the change is a part of their plans to test “ways for people to communicate with businesses in the months ahead.”
5. It explains this as a way to get users to receive information from brands they deal with from ‘hearing from your bank about a potentially fraudulent transaction, or getting notified by an airline about a delayed flight’
5. One of the big ways Whatsapp intends to do this is to share information about your Whatsapp activity with Facebook.
6. But they are also assuring you that they will not share your whatsapp number, details or messages with Facebook. The co-ordination with Facebook will help it effectively ‘track basic metrics about how often people use our services and better fight spam on WhatsApp’.
7. The way Facebook will use the data from your Whatsapp will be to give more accurate friend suggestions and serve better ads on Facebook example, more from brands that you have engaged with than those you don’t know about.
8. Whatsapp continues to promise that your messages are still very private, meaning not even Whatsapp can see the messages you send to other people. They do this via their end-to-end encryption. If it sounds familiar, it is that message that came with the last update.
However if you are still not convinced and you do not want your information shared with Facebook, there is a way to opt out.
Select ‘Settings‘ in your Whatsapp
On the Settings page, select ‘Account’
In the ‘Account’ section, deselect ‘Share My Account Info’
Remember, this ‘Settings’ change only affects Whatsapp sharing information with Facebook. It has no bearing on their plans to help businesses communicate with users.
If you have any more questions, drop a comment and we will do our best to provide answers.