WhatsApp vice president Chris Daniels revealed that the feature is going to be primary monetisation mode for the company as well as an opportunity for businesses to reach people on WhatsApp.
‘Status’ is WhatsApp’s version of Snapchat, Facebook or Instagram Stories, consisting of quick posts and videos that disappear after 24 hours. Snapchat already allows for ads to play between its stories while Instagram allows companies to sponsor stories with those posts featuring a line of text saying they are part of a “paid partnership” with the sponsor.
Facebook revealed in January that WhatsApp had 1.5 billion monthly users. The service had been free for everyone since 2016 when it dropped its $1 annual fee for users after their first year of using the service.
WhatsApp vice president Chris Daniels did not say when the ads might appear. However, the company had previously told The Wall Street Journal that the ads in ‘Status’ will appear next year.
Facebook’s move to monetise WhatsApp was apparently one of the reasons one of the company’s co-founders, Brian Acton, left Facebook in 2017. In an interview with Forbes in September, Acton explained how he was against putting ads into the messaging service he created, something that he says did not sit well with Facebook’s higher-ups, including Mark Zuckerberg.