- All Whatsapp users received a notice, saying that the service will now be sharing user data with other Facebook companies
- Signal and Telegram reported massive growth since the announcement, according to reports
While users were able to opt-out until now, starting February 8, they will have only one solution, if they don’t want their data to be owned by the parent company – uninstall the app and stop using the service.
What it means for businesses
The new policy explains how businesses get data when a user interacts with them on the platform: content shared with a business on WhatsApp will be visible to “several people in that business.” This is important because WhatsApp now has over 50 million business accounts. For WhatsApp, this is a monetization model.
This is especially worrying for retailers who use Whatsapp for their businesses. Even in Whatsapp’s damage control statement issued yesterday, it said, “We want to be clear that the policy update does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family in any way. Instead, this update includes changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp, which is optional, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data.”
That said, perhaps retail marketers should consider other messaging apps especially Telegram or Signal, now that the former has almost a quarter of the 2 billion WhatsApp users around the globe.