WhatsApp, the popular messaging app owned by Facebook, will soon be showing ads, according to reports from The Economic Times. Until now, the app had been ad-free ever since it launched back in 2009.
At an event in New Delhi, Vice President Chris Daniels revealed that the ads would be the main source of monetisation for the company and provide a better way for businesses to reach customers.
Ads will be shown in the Status section of the app, which is similar to Instagram’s Stories section that shows 24-hour posts.
Daniels did not clarify when WhatsApp would begin to display ads. However, parent Facebook has been gradually expanding business tools for the messaging app. In August, it announced the launch of a dedicated business API for WhatsApp for businesses to reach users more easily.
The addition of ads provides yet another opportunity for marketers to reach 450 million WhatsApp Status users. It is unclear if ads will remain restricted to Status or if over time users will be seeing ads across the rest of the app.