- WhatsApp said the change will enable better ad targeting on Facebook, the company said in a blog post.
- Facebook will not sell or share the phone numbers with advertisers, according to WhatsApp.
In one fell swoop, Facebook has essentially added over one billion phone numbers into its user database. While the move to integrate WhatsApp into Facebook's advertising ecosystem raises more questions than answers, it should open the door to more robust ad targeting on the platform.
WhatsApp was sold to Facebook in February 2014 for $16 billion. Facebook now owns two mobile messaging apps (the other being Messenger) that boast over one billion users. Facebook recently rolled out chatbots to Messenger in a bid to help brands automate basic customer service conversations with customers.
The move gives Facebook a larger mobile messaging audience to reach and a new audience – largely international – to target via metadata gathered from phone numbers.