WhatsApp recently announced that it plans to integrate business services into its app before the end of this year. The Facebook-owned company first made a userbase announcement in January when it stated that it plans to connect over one billion users. They want to incorporate flight notifications, receipts or delivery tracking and more. This is the updated version of the company’s T&Cs:
We will explore ways for you and businesses to communicate with each other using WhatsApp, such as through order, transaction, and appointment information, delivery and shipping notifications, product and service updates, and marketing. For example, you may receive flight status information for upcoming travel, a receipt for something you purchased, or a notification when a delivery will be made. Messages you may receive containing marketing could include an offer for something that might interest you. We do not want you to have a spammy experience; as with all of your messages, you can manage these communications, and we will honor the choices you make.
In 2012, CEO and co-founder Jan Koum, railed against advertising and marketing messages when she stated:
No one wakes up excited to see more advertising, no one goes to sleep thinking about the ads they’ll see tomorrow. We know people go to sleep excited about who they chatted with that day (and disappointed about who they didn’t). We want WhatsApp to be the product that keeps you awake… and that you reach for in the morning. No one jumps up from a nap and runs to see an advertisement.
In addition, the company said it will begin sharing data, and users’ phone numbers, with Facebook. Although, users can choose not to share information with Facebook. They explain sharing here:
Facebook and the other companies in the Facebook family also may use information from us to improve your experiences within their services such as making product suggestions (for example, of friends or connections, or of interesting content) and showing relevant offers and ads. However, your WhatsApp messages will not be shared onto Facebook for others to see. In fact, Facebook will not use your WhatsApp messages for any purpose other than to assist us in operating and providing our Services.
Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.