WhatsApp, which was acquired by Facebook in February 2014, will begin sharing information with Facebook about its users, allowing Facebook to offer “more relevant” ads as well as ads within WhatsApp itself, which until now has been ad-free.
eMarketer estimates that 12.8 million people in the US used WhatsApp on a monthly basis in 2014, the year it was bought by Facebook. Since then, we estimate, about 5.6 million more people have gotten on board with the free mobile messaging service—many likely taking seriously assurances by WhatsApp that it would not harvest user data for ad targeting, or serve ads at all.
Indeed, such assurances were seen as especially important to WhatsApp users because the service itself foregrounds privacy and security. Messages in WhatsApp are encrypted end-to-end, meaning the company can never see any of the content sent by its users around the globe. Read the rest at eMarketer.