WhatsApp has decided to introduce its first revenue-generating channel to bring some profit for Facebook.
Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014 for around $22 billion and it is the most expensive acquisition of Facebook ever. It’s also one of Facebook’s major properties that are not bringing in any profit. Now, the messaging app is planning to run ads in the status tab of the app. The ads will be powered by Facebook’s advertising system and will “help familiarise users with business” on WhatsApp. Reportedly, WhatsApp will start showing ads in the Status tab in 2019.
On August 1st, WhatsApp announced in its blog post that new tools will allow businesses to offer customer support via WhatsApp chat, which will be a great addition to the service. Currently, Facebook is also using the same tool on Instagram to push ads which are shown in the feed as well as stories. But when it comes to WhatsApp, there are certain concerns surrounding the use of chat history for ad targeting. Thankfully, WhatsApp has already said that all chats are encrypted and cannot be accessed even by the company itself.
On the other hand, WhatsApp is also launching a new Business APIs that will let businesses respond to messages for free for up to 24 hours. After 24 hours, companies will be charged for sending messages to the users.
WhatsApp has been free to use since it started its services, however, the company did charge a nominal fee in the early stage, but it soon stopped the subscription model and has been completely free to use since then. The app has 2.23 billion active users worldwide and is the top instant messaging choice for people in the emerging economies.