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It's been a decade since WhatsApp has been intact to advertisements on its app. Unfortunately, that's about to change. WhatsApp vice-president Chris Daniels confirmed with Outlook India that the popular messaging service will soon promote ads on its app.
According to Daniels, the ads will appear in the Status section. This section is inspired by Instagram Stories allowing users to share text, photos, videos, and GIFs. The content shared on Status disappears after 24 hours.
Daniels added that ads in the Status section would be the "primary monetization mode for the company as well as an opportunity for businesses to reach people on WhatsApp." Although, he didn't mention an actual timeline of when the ads will appear or whether WhatsApp has plans for additional revenue streams. Facebook's native advertising system will drive the new functionality on the app.
The addition of advertisements was something that made WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton felt uncomfortable with up until his departure from the company in November 2017.
"I sold my users' privacy to a larger benefit. I made a choice and a compromise. I live with that every day," said Acton in an interview with Forbes. He also said that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's vision of monetizing WhatsApp with ads led to his departure.
Let's hope the new functionality doesn't hamper the privacy of the users and the end-to-end encryption remains intact. We can expect the targetted ads on WhatsApp sometime next year.
Besides, there are reports that the app will get a support for Face ID and Touch ID for security purposes.
The WABetaInfo report says that these options were spotted in the iOS version of the app and will be rolled out to the Android version soon. WABetaInfo also claimed that the company is working on two new features: Linked Accounts and Vacation Mode. As the name says, Linked Accounts will allow users to link their WhatsApp account with other services. It seems that the new feature is mainly built for WhatsApp Business, but references about the new feature were also seen on the main app.