WhatsApp will soon start showing advertisements in Status feature, a move that is aimed at monetising its 1.3 billion users worldwide. According to a report in news agency IANS, WhatsApp Vice President Chris Daniels confirmed the feature and said it is going to be the primary monetisation mode for the company. In addition, ads in Status will give opportunity for business to reach people on WhatsApp. Though ads could make their way into WhatsApp Status soon, an exact timeline for the release is unclear at this point.
The discussion around ads in WhatsApp Status has been around for some time. Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year that the Facebook-owned company will start showing ads from next year. The report adds that Facebook is looking to use WhatsApp Business as a major source of revenue. The company could also introduce new types of ads for users to directly connect with companies for customer-service enquiries. WhatsApp Status, which has over 450 million users globally, will use Facebook’s native advertising system.
In September this year, WABetaInfo, a site know for its reliable information when it comes to upcoming features on WhatsApp, reported that the messaging service is already working on the feature for iOS version. Ads in WhatsApp Status will not weaken end-to-end encryption on the platform and this has been confirmed by the company.
The topic of ads in WhatsApp Status has been a controversial one too, especially after WhatsApp co-founders Brian Acton and Jan Koum left the company, reportedly because they were unhappy with Facebook’s push on advertising for the messaging app. In 2014, when WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook, the founders had stressed they would keep the messaging app ad-free. However, Facebook clearly seems to have different plans for the messaging platform.