When WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook earlier this year,Mark Zuckerberg pacified apprehensive WhatsApp users that Facebook would not interfere with WhatsApp and that they (Facebook and WhatsApp) would function as separate entities.
All the fears that WhatsApp would start carrying ads were laid to rest and users went about their daily lives believing that the equation remained unchanged.
But ads in WhatsApp should be the least of your worries;here’s why :
All your phone contacts are shared to Facebook Via WhatsApp!Don’t believe me??
Next time you save a number to your mobile ( that has WhatsApp installed),check your Facebook “People You May Know” feed–You will find them there!!
This makes you wonder what Facebook is trying to do.Let me explain :
Let’s say that you hired the services of a temp electrician/driver/tutor (or) visited someplace and saved the contact number for future reference.All marketeers understand the power of “word of mouth” and friends’ recommendations.Companies that subscribe to Facebook’s re-marketing strategy to increase exposure benefit vastly from the “connections” that Facebook makes with your contacts. Even if you are not friends with someone, you are more likely to accept a friend request from someone who has helped you. Hence,the WhatsApp-Facebook partnership makes it easier for people to locate casual contacts on Facebook than using the search option.
Accepting requests from casual friends changes your Facebook feed (plain speak : You will see posts that say “Samuel liked this”,prompting you to view the post and probably like it too).
So,should you feel outraged and move to Telegram (which does not have a huge user base as of now) or Hike messenger (an Indian messaging app)? What if Facebook or some other company with similar interests bought them too?
Read my post Are Advertisers becoming stalkers in desperation? for more details.
So now, what is the answer to the question in the title of this blog post?Well,it is a resounding NO.
You didn’t ask,he didn’t tell. As simple as that.