Perhaps the most important changes regard information sharing with Facebook and the ‘Facebook family of companies,’ and updates concerning WhatsApp Calling, which launched over a year ago now.
The changes regarding Facebook mean that some information on a WhatsApp account can be shared with Facebook, which the app maker says is to help improve the company’s products and services. This should allow for better spam fighting and abuse, as well as seeing “better friend recommendations and more relevant ads on Facebook.”
According to WhatsApp, “people use our app every day to keep in touch with the friends and loved ones who matter to them, and this isn’t changing. But as we announced earlier this year, we want to explore ways for you to communicate with businesses that matter to you too, while still giving you an experience without third-party banner ads and spam.”
With this development WhatsApp plans to harmonise more with FaceBook in the months ahead, but has reassured users that their encrypted messages will stay private and no one can read them.
“Not WhatsApp, not Facebook, nor anyone else. We won’t post or share your WhatsApp number with others, including on Facebook, and we still won’t sell, share, or give your phone number to advertisers,” WhatsApp pledges.
The company however believes that by coordinating more with Facebook, “we’ll be able to do things like track basic metrics about how often people use our services and better fight spam on WhatsApp.”
WhatsApps says that by connecting users’ phone number with Facebook’s systems, Facebook can offer better friend suggestions and show the user more relevant ads if he or she has an account with them.