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Suddenly seeing really unexpected Facebook suggestions?

2014, December 9

Has Facebook Integrated WhatsApp Contacts

Maybe you are like me and have noticed that on Facebook over the last 2 weeks or so you are being presented with “Friend” suggestions for people you may not have expected to see on THAT platform? In many instances in my case, these suggestions were for people in my mobile phone’s contacts list. My initial thought was that I had inadvertently given permission to Facebook to access My Contacts. (Read on

Now that would have been odd because over the years I have refused at every request to give Facebook access to my phone’s contacts, or any other contact list for that matter, and have never changed that policy—despite how attractive or convenient it might have seemed to be!

So, did Facebook “hack” My Contacts? No! They wouldn’t have done that? Would they? Then it occurred to me—they didn’t need to. They just bought WhatsApp instead. I have given WhatsApp access to my contacts. From the type of suggestions I am getting on Facebook—my strong suspicion (and that’s all it is!) is that Facebook has now integrated WhatsApp personal data into their algorithm.

Maybe I missed some explicit, clear Facebook announcements about this? No I didn’t. A casual Google search on the topic didn’t yield in any meaningful results to indicate that was going to happen—not that that’s conclusive evidence, but it should have appeared somewhere by now if that was to happen? Do I really have to mention the two big P’s—Privacy and Permission?

Well, I guess we should all have have expected that Facebook is bound to leverage all the value in that massive 16- or 19-billion-Dollar purchase price. Be that as it may, I think there may be some questions to be asked and answered here.

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