WhatsApp plans to monetise the platform with Status ads
Last week, WhatsApp revealed their plans to monetise the messaging platform by enabling companies to purchase adverts. These ads will be shown in the WhatsApp Status section, which is essentially their own version of Facebook’s, Instagram’s and Snapchat’s Stories functions.
WhatsApp Status, according to the company’s latest report, boasts over 450 million daily active users.
The company’s spokesperson and Vice President, Chris Daniels, confirmed in an official statement that the app will remain free for users. There are also no plans to charge a fee for the platform, which was purchased by Facebook for $19 billion.
Ever since news of the acquisition emerged, experts have been predicting that WhatsApp would make moves to monetise the platform. This began with the rollout of the WhatsApp Business API earlier this year, which allows businesses to send important messages to customers through the app. This feature lets businesses respond to customers messages for free for up to 24 hours, though they will be charged a fixed fee for every message sent after that period.
As TechRepublic explains, WhatsApp’s Business app is free for users to download, and it enables them to quickly message companies through the “click-to-chat” button, as well as request information such as shipping confirmation and a boarding pass.
“The application can also be used by businesses as a tool for customer service, giving them a quick and easy channel to provide support regarding their products and services.” – Alpine Security
“WhatsApp Status is the ‘hidden feature’ that 450 million people use daily. Once it’s daily usage surpassed even popular apps like Snapchat, it was only a matter of time before ads came. Will they be effective? Interruption to someone’s daily routine is rarely seen as a welcome feature but can be very successful. It would be very popular around Christmas shopping season where you can remind someone to buy a gift for their friend while talking to that friend.” – Matt Antonio, Head of Operations for Digital Eagles
Bernie’s take on WhatsApp status ads:
WhatsApp is now one of the most popular apps in the world, having a total of 1.5 billion users. According to WhatsApp, 60 million messages are also sent through the platform each day. With this in mind, and the fact that more and more users are losing trust in Facebook, it should come as no surprise that they’re rolling out ads within the app.
Whether this will be successful remains to be seen, especially because many of the app’s users neglect to use the Status feature currently. However, this is a less invasive (and more user-friendly) part of the app to place the ads than in between chats in the main ‘Chats’ section of the app.
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