Soon, you'll see Ads in WhatsApp's Status feature


04 Oct 2018

This is how WhatsApp will start monetizing

WhatsApp, the biggest messaging service in the world, is planning to roll out targeted Ads in its status feature as part of its monetization efforts.

In an exclusive interview with Forbes, Brian Acton, the co-founder of the company, had confirmed the monetization plan as one of the reasons why he left WhatsApp and its parent company Facebook.

Here are the details.


Disagreement over monetization plans

Disagreement over monetization plans

Ever since its inception, WhatsApp has been known for its end-to-end encryption and ad-free services.

But, Facebook, which acquired the messaging service for $22bn in 2014, had other plans, which neither Acton nor his co-founding partner Jan Koum were aware of.

Facebook started exploring ways to generate ad-revenue without breaking WhatsApp's encryption, leading to Acton's departure.

Acton's statement to Forbes

"It was like, okay, well, you want to do these things I don't want to do. It's better if I get out of your way. And I did." The move cost him $850 million in the form of non-vested stock options.

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Monetization plan

Facebook's plan to make money with WhatsApp

While Acton suggested charging a nominal fee, Facebook shot him down and focused on other ways.

This, as mentioned, included the idea of displaying targeted ads in the form of stories in WhatsApp's Status feature, just like Instagram.

"Targeted advertising is what makes me unhappy," Acton, who built WhatsApp with a motto of "No ads, no games, no gimmicks," stated in the interview.

Ads coming next year

Plan already in the works, to be executed next year

Plan already in the works, to be executed next year

Though a WhatsApp spokesperson confirmed ads will be showcased in 2019, the plan already appears to be in the works.

Popular WhatsApp tracker WABetaInfo recently found evidence of a WhatsApp version (for iOS) that would show ads.

WhatsApp has said chats will remain end-to-end encrypted, which means ads might be targeted with the help of data taken from Facebook accounts using the same number.

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