Your phone number will now be shared with Facebook, but not with any of its users, and used to make better friend suggestions.
It will also be used to target you with ads.
You can opt out of Facebook using your data, but your account information will be sent to the social network anyway.
WhatsApp’s announcement came as a surprise to many users, due to WhatsApp CEO Jan Kuom stating in 2014 that Facebook acquiring the messaging platform would not “change our values”.
WhatsApp assured users their communications will continue to remain private.
If you are looking for a WhatsApp alternative following its new terms of service being implemented, two popular options are detailed below.
Signal is a messaging client that was built by Open Whisper Systems – the team that provided WhatsApp and Facebook with its encryption technology.
Open Whisper Systems announced the integration of Signal Protocol into WhatsApp in April.
Since then, Signal Protocol has been rolled into Google’s Allo chat app and Facebook Messenger.
Like WhatsApp, it lets you send pictures, audio, video, contacts, and locations. It also lets you make secure data voice calls.
It does not offer the ability to record and send voice messages.
Another alternative is Telegram.
It proclaims to be a messaging app focussed on speed and security, but security experts have warned against switching to Telegram based on its encryption claims.
Telegram uses a protocol that it developed in-house, MTProto, which is not fully open source.
In an FAQ on its website, Telegram said all its code will be released eventually.
“We started with the most useful parts – a well-documented API that allows developers to build new Telegram apps and open-source clients that can be verified by security specialists.”
However, security experts have warned this is not enough to verify that there aren’t mistakes in MTProto that attackers could exploit.
They also warned that Telegram stores your messages on its servers, whereas Signal and WhatsApp do not.
One thing that Telegram can claim is that it does not share your account information with a large social network.
Telegram is available for Android, iOS, and desktop. It features the same functionality as WhatsApp, minus voice calling.