It’s been confirmed. Ads are soon going to be placed on Whatsapp.
For quite some time now, rumours have been widespread that Facebook plans to finally monitise the Whatsapp platform. Some even speculated that Facebook had several plans to monetise the platform long before it bought it for $19 billion in 2014.
But in an interview with India’s Economic Times recently, Whatsapp’s Vice President, Chris Daniels, confirmed that ads will be placed in Whatsapp Status section.
“We are going to be putting ads in ‘Status’. That is going to be primary monetization mode for the company as well as an opportunity for businesses to reach people on WhatsApp.”
Looks like I’ll be getting rid of WhatsApp too. Miss those early days of subscription. Loosing #privacy @WhatsApp, no fun then using stories here. Alternatives for stories anyone? @signalapp, @bzamayo @brianacton https://t.co/k6IjXUj4FO
— Zabdiel Scoon (@scoonytroon) November 2, 2018
However, no date has been provided for when Whatsapp monitization will start. But it looks likely that the feature could debut next year; although this is just a speculation.
Why Monetise Whatsapp Now?
Monetising Whatsapp has been top of the agenda since Mark Zuckerberg bought the company for $19 billion. Back then the company had a valuation of around $1.5 billion
Facebook plans on shoving ads into WhatsApp statuses. The move makes perfect sense from a business perspective as he app was not generating any revenue.https://t.co/lZF4ryyBmi
— Prateek Agarwal (@digitl_marketer) November 2, 2018
Back then too, Whatsapp was a freemium service. Many older Whatsapp users would remember the constant reminder that they had to pay $0.99 a year after the first 12 months of usage. Many people simply opened a new WhatsApp account with a different number when payment was near.
However, Facebook completely removed that system and made Whatsapp free for life. And importantly, Facebook kept WhatsApp as a separate company with its own identity and never, publicly that is, harvested its data for advertising purposes.
But this decision has always been suspicious. Why buy a company for more than 10 times its value only to make it free? What’s the catch?
However since Facebook came under heavy fire for data breaches and several other issues, the company has worried about its revenues dropping.
Whatsapp meanwhile represents one of Facebook’s biggest possibilities of guaranteed high future stream of income.
And Whatsapp Status seems like the perfect place to begin monetising. With over a billion daily active Whatsapp users and over 400 million users using its Status feature, the platform seems ripe for monetisation.
How Would Whatsapp Status Ads Look Like?
Frankly nobody knows. No information has been released about this yet. However the obvious system is to disrupt the display when users view other people’s status updates.
one of the major problems I'm facing right now is that i can never leave a whatsapp status unseen 😩… the moment I see that green circle, I just have to open it no matter what.
— Rebel🇳🇬🇳🇬 (@kayoderebel) November 2, 2018