Up until late last year, WhatsApp was the cleanskin of digital platforms when it came to advertising.
This all changed last year when Facebook (which owns the encrypted messaging service) confirmed it would start phasing in ads from this year.
Although it is little surprise that Facebook is now looking to monetise the service it paid $US16 billion for in 2014 (approx $17.6 billion AUD at the time), there have been concerns about what these ads will look like and whether they will impact WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption.
WhatsApp’s encryption has always been a major draw point for the product and thus far has presented a challenge for advertisers.
But it seems Facebook has now figured a way around this – by introducing Status Ads.
The ads will appear between WhatsApp stories, much like they do on Instagram stories.
Be Connect Agency head of media Olivier Ponteville shared a glimpse of these new ads on Twitter last week, revealing the ads would be live next year.
— Olivier Ponteville (@Olivier_Ptv) May 21, 2019
It is believed the advertisements on WhatsApp will be powered by Facebook’s native advertising system.
WhatsApp’s co-founder Brian Acton may not be happy with the decision, having previously been quoted as saying “targeted advertising is what makes me unhappy”.