Facebook wants to host some of your customer data, an offer that hurts its own partner community.
The antisocial giant says it will host data generated by WhatsApp, specifically when used alongside the messaging service’s Business API. That interface lets businesses manage messages to and from customers, and to integrate e-commerce and other apps into the messaging platform. Facebook lets partners implement the API and choose where data is stored.
The Social Network™ on Thursday announced “a new way for businesses to store and manage their WhatsApp chats with customers using Facebook’s secure hosting infrastructure which will roll out early next year.”
Facebook says customers who take up its offer “will make it easier to onboard to WhatsApp Business API … respond to WhatsApp messages faster, keep their inventory up to date and sell products through chats.”
But the Silicon Valley giant also says that using a third party – even Facebook – breaks end-to-end encryption.
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“If a business chooses to use a third party vendor to operate the WhatsApp Business API on their behalf, we do not consider that to be end-to-end encrypted since the business you are messaging has chosen to give a third-party vendor access to those messages,” Facebook said. “This will also be the case if that third-party vendor is Facebook.”
Facebook will therefore disclose when it is hosting chats on behalf of a customer albeit without revealing the degraded encryption.
The web goliath said it will also “expand our partnerships with business solution providers we’ve worked with over the last two years,” so while it says it will offer a better on-boarding experience, it’s throwing them another unspecified bone.
The Social Network™ said its hosting services will emerge in coming months, which gives us all plenty of time to ponder whether you want to get into business with a corporation that has failed to suppress misinformation, allowed live-streaming of a racist terror attack, leaked personal data, and took years to figure out that holocaust denial has no place in public conversations. ®