Have you ever wondered if the WhatsApp interface had ads, just like Messenger? According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook had a plan to do just that, but gave up. The app will still receive ads by 2020, but only within Status – equivalent to Instagram Stories.
The WSJ states that WhatsApp broke up a team created to find the best ways to integrate ads into the app. It even added changes to the code, which were already removed by the end of the project.
According to the newspaper, this Facebook plan was one of the reasons that led WhatsApp co-founders, Brian Acton and Jan Koum, to leave the company between 2017 and 2018. According to the Washington Post, Koum also disagreed with executives who wanted to weaken the encryption to facilitate the use of WhatsApp Business.
There aren't many details about how these advertisements would appear on WhatsApp, but Messenger can give you an idea. A few years ago, the Facebook messenger started showing static and video ads between conversations; they appear only on the app's home screen, never within a chat.
WhatsApp Status will have announcements in 2020
It is worth noting that WhatsApp will, yes, have ads at some point in 2020. However, they will be restricted to Status, as Facebook had announced. "The company plans to introduce ads to its Status feature," says the WSJ.
WhatsApp Status ads should work similarly to Instagram Stories: You see your contacts' photos and videos, and at some point you are interrupted by an in-app ad. It should have the same full screen format and a link to visit the store, or to chat with the business right in the app.
For now, according to the WSJ, WhatsApp is focused on providing capabilities for businesses to communicate with customers. This is done through WhatsApp Business: for example, the app now allows you to create a catalog of products, such as pizza flavors sold in a pizzeria.
WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for a total of $ 22 billion. At the time, the app's official blog said: "you can continue to rely on a service without any advertising interrupting your communication".