WhatsApp’s Vice President, Chris Daniels, has just confirmed that we’ve been seeing in reports for quite some time now, that ads are coming to WhatsApp Status. ‘Status’ is basically WhatsApp’s feature, for those of you who did not know, and ads that will show up there will become the company’s primary monetization method. That will also give a way for businesses to present itself to WhatsApp users, of course, which was not possible until now, as ads were not a part of WhatsApp at all. Now, if you’re wondering when will Facebook start pushing ads to WhatsApp, well, Mr. Daniels did not share such info, so we’ll just have to wait and see, though considering his confirmation, that change is coming soon enough.
Background: It was first reported that ads are coming to WhatsApp back in August, though back then, the report claimed that WhatsApp ads are being tested for iOS. Mr. Daniels did not specify to which platform are the ads coming, but we’re almost certain that both iOS and Android versions of the app will start showing them in ‘Status’. Speaking of which, WhatsApp Status is a feature that allows users to share text, photos, videos, and animated GIFs that disappear after 24 hours, a similar feature is available on other messaging apps, such as Facebook Messenger and Instagram, so you’re quite probably familiar with it even if you’re not using it via WhatsApp. It is worth noting that WhatsApp currently has over 1.5 billion users on a global scale, and it’s also worth saying that the decision to monetize WhatsApp via ads is quite probably what forced WhatsApp co-founders to leave Facebook, which now owns WhatsApp. When he left the company, one of WhatsApp co-founders, Brian Acton, said that Mark Zuckerberg was in a rush to make money from WhatsApp, and that he undermined elements of its encryption technology. Mr. Acton also said that targeted advertising displeases him. It has been four years since Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion.
Impact: WhatsApp was always referred to as a compelling messaging platform, mainly due to its wide availability, and great performance. WhatsApp is available on a ton of platforms as we speak, and the app is quite reliable, while it also offers a really clean design. Well, the addition of ads to WhatsApp will definitely affect how users look at it, at least to a certain degree, no matter how unobtrusive ads end up being. It will be interested to see will this move affect WhatsApp’s usage numbers, in other words, will some users give up on the platform and move elsewhere. Chances are that such a move will not affect the platform all that much, as Facebook started pushing ads to Messenger a while back, and that did not affect the app at all, at least not as far as usage goes. Different sort of people use WhatsApp, though, so who knows what will happen, but one thing is for sure, you can expect to see ads creep up in WhatsApp Status in the near future.