When Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014, many people were concerned that the company would begin feeding Facebook with user information. They were assured that the Facebook deal would not result in a change to privacy on WhatsApp.
A recent announcement, however, confirms that WhatsApp will begin feeding Facebook with user data, including their phone numbers. Some users of the app are seeing this as a betrayal of their trust. Some marketers and brands are seeing this as a big opportunity.
For example, Brands will be able to provide users with live updates or information about shipping or products through the app. The potential for improved customer service is certainly big, and even certain advertising opportunities may be present. Of course, brands will need to be very careful not to be seen as spamming users. Facebook (and WhatsApp) also need to make sure they are being very careful regarding how brands are going to be able to use that data.
Whatever you think about the move made by WhatsApp and Facebook, this will provide marketers with some opportunities in the future, as long as they use them properly.