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WhatsApp All Set To Monetize The Platform By Running Ads

| Published on November 2, 2018

You may have a distraction coming your way while using WhatsApp in the forms of ads. Chris Daniels, Vice President, WhatsApp has announced that the company is now all set to monetize the service and will allow businesses to run advertisements on the app.

The Plan

“Facebook will start monetizing WhatsApp, and show ads in the ‘Status’ section of the app”, Chris Daniels said.  This strategy is in sync with Facebook’s plan to monetize the ‘WhatsApp for Business’ app that is currently free for businesses. Facebook will now charge companies for running ads on the app and these ads will be interlinked to the advertiser’s profile on WhatsApp.

Way Forward

WhatsApp will also be promoting startups in India and will offer $250,000 to five startups through the ‘WhatsApp StartUp Challenge’.

The timelines for implementation of the plan have not been disclosed yet, but it is expected to start early next year. WhatsApp is currently being tested by 100 companies, said a report by WSJ.

Also Read: Infibeam Loses Rs. 1,600 Crore In A Single Day Due To A Viral WhatsApp Message

WhatsApp In India

WhatsApp has over 250 million users in India and till now remained an ad-free platform. But after Facebook took over the app in 2014, for $19 million, strategies started changing.

It is still not very clear if the ads on Whatsapp will be shown to random users or will they be targeted as per user interests and profile.

The Change of Strategies

But one thing is clear that the founder of WhatsApp, Brian Acton was not in favor of running ads on the platform and he left Facebook in September 2017. His idea was to monetize the ad by using a metered model, wherein the user would be charged a certain fee after he exhausts a pre-defined limit of free messages. But Sheryl Sandberg, CEO Facebook, rejected his idea.

“Targeted advertising is what makes me unhappy,” Acton told Forbes.


Alex Stamos, Chief Security Officer at Facebook, defended the company’s decision to generate revenue on WhatsApp.

“Eventually, WhatsApp is going to need to generate revenue… This could come from directly charging for the service, it could come from advertising, it could come from a WeChat-like services play. This first is very hard across countries, the latter two are complicated by E2E,” he said.

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