WhatsApp and Facebook logos.
WhatsApp and Facebook logos. (LIONEL BONAVENTURE / AFP)

From February 8, to be able to continue using the WhatsApp application, it will be necessary to accept new conditions of use and give the right to Facebook (WhatsApp’s parent company since 2014), but also to Instagram and Messenger, to recover certain WhatsApp data. What data is this? Each user’s phone number, contacts, profile information and transaction data that may be carried out in the application. Obviously, the content of the messages, which remain encrypted and therefore in principle confidential, are not affected. Until now, this sharing was optional.

The reason for this change can be found in Facebook’s business strategy. Mark Zuckerberg wants to make WhatsApp the central communication tool of the group’s ecosystem. It’s also about monetizing WhatsApp, which isn’t making money today, by opening it up to advertisers.

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However, it should be noted that, due to regulations, this data sharing will not concern European and British users. Facebook management says there will be no ad targeting. In any case, for communications between individuals. Only professional uses, that is to say with companies that use WhatsApp as a channel to communicate with their customers, will be subject to this data sharing. In all cases, you will still have to accept the new conditions of use.

As an unexpected consequence of this novelty, it seems that users have chosen to migrate now to other platforms, such as Telegram or Signal. Thus, Thursday, January 7, the Signal platform was the victim of an unexpected influx of registrations. A phenomenon undoubtedly amplified by a tweet from billionaire Elon Musk (who has strained relations with Facebook) calling to join Signal.

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