Maybe not the sort of news you would love to hear, but can’t deny the fact that it is one of the worst kept secrets in the last couple of months. We all knew WhatsApp was seriously working on monetizing its app, and was only a matter of time before the news is everywhere. Ads are coming to the Status bar—perhaps, it is time to say the app was fun while the service was ads-free.
Vice President Chris Daniels confirmed this on Wednesday per The Economic Times: “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.”
Now that we all know where companies will be displaying their ads on the app, it remains unclear when we will start seeing them [ads] in the Status bar. Daniels did not disclose when these ads will start showing up in your Status bar, but it is quite clear that it won’t be long until that happens.
After Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014, we all wondered at what stage those ads will begin to run on the app. Answers to that question and thoughts appear to be within reach, and your favorite app will no longer be ads-free.
Facebook completed the $19 billion acquisition of mobile WhatsApp back in 2014. The deal, which cost Facebook $12 billion of its stock value, and another $4 billion, also saw founders of the app granted $3 billion Facebook stock. The messaging app continued as a separate service from the social network giant since acquisition, but things began to change later when WhatsApp announced that it would share data with Facebook.
In 2017, WhatsApp gave us one of the biggest hint yet about plans to monetize its services when it advertised the position of a lead product development. The position is one of three positions the company was hoping to fill at the time.
Citing a source familiar with the matter, Recode at the time reported that WhatsApp’s focus is on creating something for the emerging markets. The chat app is particularly very popular in countries like Brazil and India—and WhatsApp’s emphasis on hiring someone with international and prior experience in related field all but confirms this.
That marked the first time WhatsApp would come out publicly to declare its intention to monetize plans. In the past, the company had declined or denied such plans were in the offing.
Two months ago, WhatsApp again went a step further by adding three new ways for customers to connect with businesses. There is a new shortcut button to allow to initiate a quick conversation, a new tool to allow businesses send you information, and a real-time support.