Facebook’s popular messaging app WhatsApp is going to start showing ads in the Status tab soon. This was already expected as WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton revealed these changes were coming in a candid interview with Forbes recently.
These changes were confirmed by WhatsApp Vice President Chris Daniels in an interview. “Currently, we’re approaching monetization in two ways. In August, we launched the WhatsApp Business API, which enables large companies like MakeMyTrip to send information like tickets to users on WhatsApp. Businesses pay to send those messages,” said Daniels via India Times. “In the future, we’ll place ads in WhatsApp Status, which is our Stories feature. We think this is an appropriate place for ads within WhatsApp. WhatsApp will remain free for people to use and we remain fully committed to end-to-end encryption.”
Prior to being acquired by Facebook, WhatsApp was charging $1 per year to use the service. But since the app became free, the number of users grew substantially. And Facebook has been considering various ways to monetize WhatsApp as a way to justify the $19 billion purchase price.
In the Forbes interview, Acton said that he learned that Facebook was planning to integrate ads into the service even before the acquisition took place.
It is unknown when WhatsApp is planning to place ads into the Status feature. The Status feature is similar to Instagram and Snapchat’s Stories features, which are ephemeral photos and video slideshows that disappear after 24 hours.