Your bank will soon be able to tell you when a transaction is made on your account via WhatsApp.
WhatsApp users, get ready for messages from companies looking for your business.
That's the highlight from Thursday's update to WhatsApp's terms and conditions. The company outlined in a blog post the kind of interactions it wants to enable, including being notified by your bank about a potentially fraudulent transaction or being warned about a delayed flight.
These are things we might currently be informed about by a text message or phone call. WhatsApp hopes to enable these notifications too, all while keeping spam and third-party banner ads out.
This is the first time WhatsApp has updated its terms in four years, meaning it's the first major change in how the service can operate since it was bought by Facebook in 2014. But the company hasn't been standing still during this period. The terms will also reflect other major changes to the messaging app, including the introduction of end-to-end encryption in 2014.
WhatsApp has also taken the opportunity to coordinate more closely with parent company Facebook. Messages will stay locked up tight, but the phone number linked with your WhatsApp account will be connected with your Facebook account. And that's a lot of phone numbers: This year, WhatsApp said it had grown to 1 billion users worldwide, and they're making 100 million calls a day.
The thinking behind this is that you will receive better friend suggestions and also supposedly help Facebook show you more relevant ads. It is the latest addition to the roster of data Facebook has on each of its users to make decisions on how to advertise to them, although it isn't entirely clear how knowing your phone number will lead to you receiving better ads.
WhatsApp frames this as a positive thing: "You might see an ad from a company you already work with, rather than one from someone you've never heard of." You might not think that you "work with" companies that advertise to you, but the phrasing suggests this could be how WhatsApp observes the relationship.
The company is set to test the new features in the coming months. In the meantime, you can find out more about the new terms in thisWhatsApp FAQ.
Need Tech Help? Click Here To Join Our Live Online Radio Show
Wanna Leave Without Sharing This? It's not fair