WhatsApp ads are coming. Since Facebook acquired WhatsApp, the parent company has been trying to figure out a way to make their investment profitable by advertising on the platform. However, with restraints like end-to-end encryption, the company struggled with introducing chat-based advertisement.
Enter Status feature. This feature, that is similar to Instagram’s Stories, will be used to advertise on the instant messaging platform. The Status feature allows the user to post a series of pictures or videos that are on the platform for a limited period. The advertisements are expected to be squeezed in between posts, similar to how Instagram places ads in Stories.
How is WhatsApp monetizing the Business app?
Facebook built the monetization of the WhatsApp platform this way in an effort to create a positive user experience by allowing consumers to reach out to businesses directly and not vice versa. Ads may appear on WhatsApp Status, a feature that is similar to Instagram Stories. It is currently more popular than Snapchat and allows users to post updates with text, photos, and videos that are encrypted just like the end-to-end communication. Ads may soon appear on the app as Status to make the monetization as less intrusive as possible. Implementing a fee for interactions longer than 24 hours also encourages businesses to respond promptly, providing a better experience for consumers.
With user experience in mind, WhatsApp aims not to lose daily active users (DAUs) while monetizing the platform. However, it’s important to note that charging for messaging after 24 hours could deter some businesses from responding to consumers if they deem WhatsApp consumers non-profitable.
WhatsApp also created “click to WhatsApp” ads, with functionality similar to a click-to-call button, that will appear on Facebook, spreading the potential for revenue across multiple platforms. A business can create a “click to WhatsApp” Facebook ad with a button for users to initiate conversation on the WhatsApp platform.
WhatsApp also announced they will be selling advertising space within their WhatsApp Status feature. Status ads can feature text and photo or video content, adding an additional revenue stream to the platform.
How Will the Experience Change for WhatsApp users?
Users will need to start the conversation with a business, which can be done through “click to WhatsApp” ads.
Because consumers have control of the business-to-consumer communication, businesses on the platform don’t have the ability to spam messages and clog inboxes with promotional content. Instead, users will see businesses’ presences on the platform in the form of ads in between WhatsApp Status updates.
As the Facebook brand acquires and monetizes more social platforms, stringing users from one to the other, Facebook could spin an advertising web, holding more power in the digital marketing world. For now, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are growing in terms of connecting consumers with relevant businesses and vice versa to produce revenue and expand the Facebook brand.