WhatsApp VP confirms that the messenger will soon start displaying ads in-app
WhatsApp is, without a doubt, the biggest dedicated messaging app in the world. Founded back in 2009, the company was bought by Facebook five years after, and it would seem that Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild is finally set to cast its influence on the green-themed chat client. According to WhatsApp executive Chris Daniels, users of the app are set to be visited by ads in the near future, with the application soon to start displaying ads in its status tab.
The WhatsApp status feature is divisive at best—some people being heavy users and others being opposed to the app’s attempt to bring the new “Story” format seen on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat to a more private client like WhatsApp. Regardless of how polarizing it is, it’d be facetious to ignore the fact that a significant percentage of WhatsApp’s humongous 1.5 billion-man userbase still use the feature.
Facebook makes most of its money from advertising—accompanying privacy violations concerns were the cause of a huge debacle earlier this year, even—so it was always a matter of time until the company dipped its hands into the lucrative piece of pie that is WhatsApp.
WhatsApp claims to feature end-to-end encryption, which of course begs the question of how exactly the company plans to collect the user data needed for targeted advertising—a dilemma that, in hindsight, probably led to the exits of WhatsApp co-founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton from Facebook earlier this year.
It remains to be seen when or how advertising will be implemented in the app, but make no mistake about it: this is an unwelcome development, and one that could whisper lullabies of doom for a platform used by over 20% of the world’s population.