In a move to monetise its 1.3 billion users worldwide, WhatsApp will start showing advertisements in Status from next year, Wall Street Journal reported. In addition, Facebook is looking to use WhatsApp Business as a major source of revenue and the company could introduce new types of ads for users to directly connect companies for customer-service queries. WhatsApp Status, which has 450 million users globally, will use Facebook’s native advertising system.
And while WhatsApp chats will continue to be end-to-end encrypted, the report notes that the companies could “potentially store” their chats with users in a “decrypted state” to help retain advertisers. Notably, Instagram shows advertisements in Stories and the same model could be used in WhatsApp Status as well. Both Instagram Stories and Status allow users to upload media, text, etc that disappear in 24 hours.
The development comes as Facebook reported sluggish growth and revenue in the second quarter. According to a report in AP, analysts attributed the user growth shortfall largely to European privacy rules that went into effect in May. In the second quarter, Facebook’s user base reached 2.23 billion monthly active users. Though the social media giant has the same Stories feature for its app as well, the format was not as profitable as that on Instagram and WhatsApp.
In related news, WhatsApp has started opening up its business API to help people and businesses communicate with each other. WhatsApp Business, which was launched in January this year, has three million users. The announcement was made by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during the company’s Q1 2018 earnings call. Uber, Bookings.com, and MakeMyTrip are among the early partners for the service.