Experts have been predicting that WhatsApp will find different ways to monetise the platform, ever since Facebook spent a whopping $19 billion to acquire the messaging service. Going ahead on the monetization plan, WhatsApp has made an official announcement that it is introducing ads on the WhatsApp Status page. The company’s spokesperson and Vice President, Chris Daniels has made this announcement and has added that the service to the users of the messaging platform will remain free and there is no plan to charge any fee.
WhatsApp would like to treat its Status page as its Stories feature like what rival Snapchat has. Users post texts, videos and photos on the Stories page in Snapchat and the Status page in WhatsApp is used for a similar purpose where whatever is posted lasts only 24 hours. It is reported that there are over 450 million WhatsApp users on this Status page uploading their photos etc. They will become the first targets for advertisers to carry their messaging to.
WhatsApp already has a revenue stream from within WhatsApp through the WhatsApp Business API. Using this facility, WhatsApp allows businesses to send important messages (like tickets by MakeMyTrip) and they pay WhatsApp to use this facility.
Daniels also assured the users that the company stays committed to end-to-end encryption of data within the app and there will be no letup in the data privacy norms.
The idea of monetizing the service has been a bone of contention even within the organization. The co-founder of WhatsApp, Brian Acton, who continued after the Facebook takeover, left the company last year and there were rumours at that time that he had major differences with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over this issue of monetizing WhatsApp only, but there has been no confirmation on this yet, though Acton had revealed recently, much after he had resigned, that Facebook had plans to monetize WhatsApp even before it formally took over.