WhatsApp is rolling out a new update through the Google Play Beta Program, bringing the version up to 126.96.36.199.
What’s new in this update? WhatsApp is working on a business indicator feature to make it clearer when a business uses services provided by Meta and share limited information with them, and it will be available in a future update of the app!
|Name of the feature?||Business indicators|
|Availability?||WhatsApp is working on bringing a business indicator feature to a future update of the app.|
|I’ve installed this update but I don’t have this feature. Why?||This feature is under development and it’s not ready for beta testers, but you can discover a preview in this article.|
|Previous news?||WhatsApp is rolling out a new revamped interface for the Android beta app!|
In the past few weeks, WhatsApp has been working on new improvements to clarify its dedication to keeping users informed about how privacy is protected and preserved, while ensuring transparency in the services they offer. After releasing a feature with the WhatsApp beta for Android 188.8.131.52 update to make it easier to automatically verify if users are on a secure connection by checking if their messages are end-to-end encrypted, we discovered that WhatsApp is now working on new indicators to make it evident when certain businesses chats collaborate with Meta:
The attached screenshot showcases new arrows that indicates when certain business chats may share very limited information with Meta regarding specific interactions in the conversation, in order to enhance the user experience. In reality, these services from Meta have been in use by some business accounts for quite some time to provide advanced solutions to users. It appears that WhatsApp’s commitment is to make it more transparent to users when a business implemented these services by adding a message event to the conversation, along with an introduction screen.
Details about specific information shared with Meta are currently very limited as the feature is in development, but we noticed that Meta may get information when some events occur. For example, when a user opens a WhatsApp chat by clicking an ad on Facebook or Instagram. In fact, the new indicator may appear in chats with certain businesses that created an ad on Facebook and Instagram, and when the Click-To-WhatsApp button is present. We don’t rule out the possibility that they may appear in other situations, such as when users submit feedback about a business or interact with an offer as mentioned in the screenshot, but it’s still too early to say.
When a business chat may share limited information with Meta, WhatsApp will always present a notice in the conversation by notifying users that Meta might receive some data. Users can choose if they want to proceed: this means that interacting with these businesses is always optional. WhatsApp also aims to offer users a better experience with this feature by providing more relevant messages, such as promotional messages created by businesses. In addition, it will help Meta understand how businesses can reduce spam by sending less intrusive content.
- Messages are still end-to-end encrypted for chats with SMBs, making it impossible for anyone outside of the conversation to read such messages.
- Messages with businesses that use cloud providers are still protected by a secure service from Meta or external companies, but they may have specific policies on how they manage user messages with the business. Users should always ask to the business their privacy practices.
Even if your privacy is always preserved in any case, we also understand that you might not feel comfortable that when certain events occur in these business chats, limited information is shared with Meta. In this case, it’s important to note that users are always in control over their conversations and they can report and block such business chats at any time. Additionally, it’s up to users whether they want to engage with these businesses as this is totally optional. If you’re interested in gaining a deeper understanding of how WhatsApp safeguards its users’ privacy when they engage with businesses, you can access additional information regarding privacy protections by visiting the official WhatsApp website.
We spotted this feature during the development thanks to the WhatsApp Business beta for Android 184.108.40.206 update, and we can confirm that the business indicator feature to make it clearer when a business uses services provided by Meta and share limited information with them will be available in a future update of the app. As always, we will keep you up to date once we have further details regarding this feature to share with you.
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