The biggest change that you’ll notice is that WhatsApp will start sharing your phone number with Facebook. WhatsApp itself will remain ad-free, but Facebook will be able to use the info to better target ads at you when you’re using Facebook. Considering Facebook already shows ads and that’s the core of their revenue, it makes sense. The good news is that you’ll be able to opt out of WhatsApp sharing your number with Facebook, so if you don’t that to happen at all you’ll get some control over it.
Interestingly, it looks like WhatsApp is digging into ways to integrate businesses into the app. Not like “WhatsApp is turning into an enterprise service” but more like they want you to be able to message Pizza Hut to set up a delivery order for dinner, or you’ll be able to receive a message for a purchase receipt. Bots and automation are making waves in messaging services in 2016, and WhatApp is following the trend.
WhatsApp’s data sharing will begin automatically, so if you need to turn it off, be sure to log into the app and manually opt-out.