We have been hearing rumblings of ads coming to WhatsApp app for some time now, and the platform’s vice president Chris Daniels has confirmed that the Status feature will start showing ads in the coming months:
“We are going to be putting ads in ‘Status’. That is going to be primary monetization mode for the company as well as an opportunity for businesses to reach people on WhatsApp.”
There isn’t a timeline for when ads will show up in the service, but an earlier statement suggested the monetization push would begin in earnest from early 2019.
Daniels is in India to address the spread of fake news on WhatsApp. Over the last few months, misinformation transmitted via the messaging platform has led to a slew of deaths across India.
In a bid to curb the violence, the government is now seeking ways to identify and track those that spread misinformation on the service.
However, that won’t be easy as WhatsApp offers end-to-end encryption, and a trace feature would break it.
For its part, WhatsApp has said it is working with government officials to better address these issues:
“We appreciate the opportunity to meet with government leaders, including Minister Prasad who confirmed his support for encryption and the privacy of our users. WhatsApp is deeply committed to serving the people of India and working closely with civil society and government leaders to help address abuse on our platform.
Our new Head of WhatsApp India, who will be named by the end of the year, will build a local team that can serve our customers in India as well as work with partners and government.”