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Does WhatsApp use our phonebook contacts for SMS marketing?

I received a marketing message, shown as sent from a friend's number who installed the application. I don't know if that friend initiated the SMS or the message was an SMS marketing to all the phonebook contacts of my friend.

Quote: "Hi, check out WhatsApp Messenger for Nokia, iPhone, Android and Blackberry. Get it now from "link" and say good-bye to SMS.
Michael DonohueMichael Donohue, Mobile Developer
1 upvote by Sachin Jain.
That's the text from the 'tell-a-friend' feature in the app.  It gets sent when you want to tell someone about WhatsApp, by explicitly clicking on the button, and confirming that you want to send an SMS. 

"I don't know if that friend initiated the SMS or the message was an SMS marketing to all the phonebook contacts of my friend."

Seems like it would be easier to tell your friend about the SMS and ask if he/she intended to send it.
No, you have to initiate it by inviting your friend(s) to download the app.
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