The popular instant messaging app will now share users’ phone numbers with Facebook, who bought the company in 2014, in order to offer better friend suggestions and show users more relevant adverts.
WhatsApp said the update will allow users to communicate with businesses “without third-party banner ads and spam”.
Information from companies that is usually received by text messaging or phone calls can now be sent through the messaging app instead, including appointment information, delivery and shipping notifications and marketing.
The update will also allow businesses to advertise to users who already use their services, as well as users who haven’t used their services before, but might be interested.
In a blogpost, the company said: “By coordinating more with Facebook, we'll be able to do things like track basic metrics about how often people use our services and better fight spam on WhatsApp”.
The company say they want to test these features in the next several months. However, if you are an existing user of WhatsApp you can choose to opt out of sharing information within the terms and conditions of the app.
Pamela Clark-Dickson, principal analyst at Ovum told the BBC: "When WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook it was able to reassure users that it would remain independent.
"Now it's giving Facebook phone numbers - some might say that's a betrayal of trust. In a small way, it has gone back on what it said it wouldn't do."
Google recently announced that it plans to penalise websites featuring pop-up adverts such as temporary pages that have to be closed down before the desired webpage can be viewed, in order to give customers an unpleasant experience when they are browsing online.
WhatsApp said they do not want users to have “a spammy experience” such as those Google are also trying to tackle.
British mobile video platform LoopMe says they have developed new technology which they say will prevent internet users from seeing the adverts they don’t want to see.
In a recent survey of 1,000 mobile users conducted this week, British mobile video platform LoopMe found that 45% said that they had never watched a mobile video ad and subsequently been driven to make an offline or online purchase.
When asked why this was the case 51% stated they were not in market for the product at that time and 29% said the adverts were not relevant.
LoopMe said these statistics show that advertising is often not being delivered at the correct point in the purchase funnel or to users who are likely to change their minds, ultimately wasting marketers’ budgets.
The company have created PurchaseLoop, a self-learning technology that uses AI to continuously optimise mobile video campaigns towards brand metrics such as purchase intent, brand affinity or product recall.
This will help deliver ads to the users most likely to change opinion and move along the path to purchase, enabling brands to increase revenues and loyalty.
Stephen Upstone, CEO LoopMe. “The implementation of this new technology allows advertisers to act on metrics which genuinely have an impact on revenue”.