WhatsApp is already working on adding advertisements to the Status feature (which is similar to Stories on Instagram), and the messaging app plans implement the same on the iOS version. The confirmation comes from WABetaInfo, which is known for its reliable information when it comes to upcoming features on the platform.
The revelation is interesting, given it comes after an interview by WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton, who had left the company earlier this year. Acton had caused a stir when he recently tweeted #DeleteFacebook in the middle of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Later, WhatsApp’s other co-founder Jan Koum also left the company, and it was reported that the two left because they were unhappy with Facebook’s push on advertising for the messaging app.
When WhatsApp was launched, both Koum and Acton had said they wanted to keep the platform ad-free. Later, when the app was acquired by Facebook in 2014, the founders had stressed they would keep the messaging app ad-free. However, Facebook clearly had different plans, and by 2018, both the founders left the company as they disagreed with Zuckerberg.
In the Forbes interview, Acton admitted that, “Targeted advertising is what makes me unhappy,” and that WhatsApp’s motto of no ads, no games was in direct contrast to Facebook which depends on ads for its revenue.
And I want to add: WhatsApp is already working to implement ads in the iOS app. https://t.co/eL55pu1kFR
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) September 27, 2018
It has been reported that there were disagreements over the end-to-end encryption as well at WhatsApp, with Facebook allegedly wanted to weaken in it in order to allow more effective advertisements. However, the company officially insists there is no plan to weak the end-to-end encryption of WhatsApp.
In the interview, Acton also said that he has given a different approach to monetize Facebook, which would be “metered-user model” and would involve “charging a tenth of a penny after a certain large number of free messages were used up.” However, Acton was told by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg that it would not scale.
Acton’s interview makes it clear that Facebook pushed very quickly for monetization of WhatsApp, which left both founders unhappy and eventually contributed to their departure from the company.
Now, the latest report from WABetaInfo confirms that the company has plans to include advertisements in Stories. The feature, which was copied from Snapchat, already has 450 million daily active users. WhatApp Business app has also been announced and could be a potential revenue source for the company.