There have been a lot of rumors and speculations as far as the ads on WhatsApp are concerned, finally it’s official it will get ads. While speaking to Outlook India, Vice-president Chris Daniels confirmed there will be no ad-free platform. He said – “We are going to be putting ads in ‘Status.’ That is going to be the primary monetization model for the company as well as an opportunity for businesses to reach people on WhatsApp.”
WhatsApp comes with the ‘Status’ section which is copied from Snapchat and implemented to compete with the Instagram Stories feature. Here you can share text, photos, videos, and GIFs that disappear 24 hours after posting. There was no other mention of possible revenue collection sources by Daniels which includes charging business users for automated messages to customers.
The news is expected — co-founder Brian Acton has been very vocal about his distaste for Facebook’s monetization plans — but it remains disappointing to many. Way back in 2012, the company posted an impassioned blog post entitled: “Why we don’t sell ads.” It said that when advertising is involved “you the user are the product,” and even started with a Fight Club quote — “Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.”
Ever since WhatsApp has been sold to Facebook in 2014 for around $19 million it has struggled to live up to its original vision. Co-founder Brian Acton speaking to Forbes in September he said – “At the end of the day, I sold my company. I sold my users’ privacy to a larger benefit. I made a choice and a compromise. I live with that every day.” Here he is referring to the pressure from Facebook to let it access WhatsApp users’ phone numbers and to publish targeted ads using customer data.
As a result of this, there are many users who are willing to opt for lesser known services like Telegram and Signal. They are more secure compared to Whatsapp which has over 1.5 billion users globally. There are others who think that subscription charges wouldn’t be accepted by the community. Some other users said they would be happy to pay $1 per year charge that WhatsApp experimented with several years ago.
Irrespective all this the decision has been made, though there is no specific timeline set for when the ads will appear. It seems inevitable that the will arrive on the platform beginning in 2019.
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