Ads in WhatsApp are a topic that we’ve already discussed about on several occasions, but now it finally looks like Facebook is ready to make the whole thing happen.
The social media giant confirmed at the Facebook Marketing Summit in the Netherlands that ads are indeed coming to WhatsApp at some point in 2020.
And while for many this could sound like it’s the end of using WhatsApp as a daily driver, the company is actually planning to make the experience less intrusive with a simple approach.
The ads would be displayed in the Status screen, not in conversations or in the contact list, as some people have previously suggested.
This means that when checking out statuses posted by your contacts, you could occasionally come across ads from paying advertisers, much like it happens on Instagram Stories. Clearly, Facebook is aiming for a little bit of consistency across its apps here, so WhatsApp could embrace the same approach with its Status ads.
Facebook says the ads won’t be intrusive
While Facebook says these ads won’t be too intrusive, I think it all comes down to how often you use WhatsApp Status in the first place. I rarely do, and out of my hundreds of contacts, one or two post a new status every few days. So users like me are less likely to be impacted by the implementation of ads in WhatsApp, which in the end is the thing that we’re most interested in.
Meanwhile, the introduction of ads in WhatsApp could generate a new wave of user migration from Facebook’s messaging app to alternative solutions like Telegram. At this point, Telegram is the number one WhatsApp rival and is offered completely free of charge, with no ads.
It remains to be seen how Facebook is going to handle the whole thing next year, with more specifics on the release date of the ads likely to land soon.