Rumors and reports that WhatsApp would start getting in-app ads have been flying around for some time but now we have explicit confirmation from Facebook that they will be coming to the messaging platform by 2020.
The announcement was made at the annual Facebook Marketing Summit in the Netherlands but is actually not quite as bad as you might have feared. Several slides from the event show what appear to be ads within the WhatsApp Stories or Status section (via Matt Navarra / Oliver Ponteville).
Instead of showing a contact profile picture and name when you select a story, the name of the advertiser is shown instead, with their associated advert. Like Instagram Stories, you will be able to swipe up to visit a promotional page or website associated with the brand.
While ads themselves aren’t exactly the most welcome inclusion, this will be a much-preferred method than intrusive banner ads. It still isn’t ideal, but ads within WhatsApp were always likely to come at some point as Facebook has sought to monetize the world’s largest messaging platform for some time.
As far as solutions go, this might be the best way to introduce ads to the platform without being overly intrusive — I can say from my own experience that I have never even used the Status feature found within WhatsApp messenger. It also brings some sort of parity with both Facebook and Instagram applications — which offer similar ad features.
It will be interesting to see just how users adapt to this new change. Let us know what you think of upcoming WhatsApp ads in the comments section below.
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