WhatsApp has been the go-to messaging service for millions of people around the world, mostly due to its ease of use, fast performance even on slow cellular network and the fact that it had users best interests at heart. But 2 years and some months after its acquisition by Facebook, we now hear that WhatsApp will be sharing users phone numbers with its parent company.
WhatsApp’s New Policy
In a surprise announcement, WhatsApp revealed that in an effort “to improve your Facebook ads and products experiences” the messaging platform will share users phone numbers with Facebook. This will naturally mean more targeted advertising, but seems quite a departure from what the service stood for. Even when the partnership with Facebook was announced, WhatsApp’s CEO, Jan Koum had stated
There would have been no partnership between our two companies if we had to compromise on the core principles that will always define our company, our vision and our product.
But this new policy of sharing phone numbers will also open up doors to various brands, like an airline company notifying you about a delayed departure or your bank sending alerts on suspicious transactions.
Thankfully, WhatsApp does give users the ability to opt out of this, if they so desire.
Here’s How to Opt Out
There are two methods using which you can opt out. The first is while signing up for the new terms and agreements and the next using the settings menu.
In this method, we’re assuming that somehow you didn’t see the checkbox at the initial setup or forgot about it. No problem. Navigate to the Settings menu, then tap on Account. Here, you’ll be able to see the same checkbox next to Share my account info. Unchecking this will opt you out of this new policy.
WhatsApp-er No More?
Naturally, there’s been a backlash to the recent announcement on social media, with people not liking the fact that WhatsApp will be sharing their phone numbers to brands. Even though the opt-out option is available, there’s no way of knowing if this will stick. Does this make you switch over to other messaging platforms? Let us know your thoughts in our comments section.