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01 Nov 2018

You'll soon start seeing ads on WhatsApp: Details here

WhatsApp confirms that it's bringing ads soon

In what might come as a disappointment to many WhatsApp users, as well as WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton, the messaging platform is getting ready to serve advertisements to users around the world.

On Wednesday, WhatsApp Vice-President Chris Daniels, who is currently in India, confirmed WhatsApp's plans to monetize its platform by serving advertisements in between Statuses.

Here's what we know about it.

In context

WhatsApp confirms that it's bringing ads soon

Chris Daniels confirms WhatsApp's plans

"We are going to be putting ads in Status. That is going to be primary monetisation mode for the company as well as an opportunity for businesses to reach people on WhatsApp," Daniels told news agency IANS in New Delhi on Wednesday.

WhatsApp ads will follow the Instagram ad format

Details

WhatsApp ads will follow the Instagram ad format

While it has long been speculated that Facebook-owned WhatsApp would introduce ads on its platform, the first instance of an official confirmation emerged earlier this month, when WhatsApp officials told Wall Street Journal about ads.

As far as we are aware, the ads will appear in between Statuses, similar to how ads appear on Instagram, in between Stories.

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Encryption

Will ads undermine WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption? We don't know

Two things, however, remain unclear.

First, no timeline has been given for ad implementation on WhatsApp.

Second, it's unclear how serving ads will affect WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption, which currently ensures that neither WhatsApp nor any third party can log private chats between users.

It's unclear if advertisements will interact with private chat content to make targeted advertising even more precise.

Friction over serving ads led Brian Acton to quit

Friction

Friction over serving ads led Brian Acton to quit

It's worth noting that advertisements has long been a contentious issue for WhatsApp, and disagreements about serving ads is what led WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton to quit the company last year.

In an earlier interview, Acton had told media that Mark Zuckerberg had always wanted to monetize WhatsApp, and despite the co-founders' efforts at suggesting alternative models of revenue, Zuckerberg was hell-bent on ads.

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