When people develop mobile applications, revenue is usually the endgame. So it really shouldn't be a surprise that everyone's favorite messaging app, WhatsApp, will be rolling out the ads soon.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the company, bought by Facebook for a whopping $22 billion in 2014, will begin monetizing as of next year through one of their newer features.
WhatsApp Status, which only came along last February, has proven a welcome addition. The feature allows one to post several videos and images in story fashion and keeps them up for 24 hours. Whereas users can only display one profile pic at a time, WhatsApp Status hands the privilege of showing off as much media as you want over a 24 hour period.
As of next year, though, the app will begin displaying ads via the aforementioned feature. Facebook did something similar with Instagram Stories back in June and will now branch advertising out to the world's most used messaging application.
WhatsApp trumps the likes of Facebook Messenger, WeChat, QQ Mobile, Skype, Viber, and Snapchat and they are poised to use that to their advantage and earn some major revenue.
WhatsApp Status is, of course, inspired by Snapchat, yet the latter hardly comes close when it comes to user numbers. So, given the app's popularity, adding commercials makes a lot of business sense for Facebook.
"We've seen it working well on Instagram and so we're learning a lot from that," Matt Idema, WhatsApp's Chief Operating Officer, told the Wall Street Journal.
The ads on the app will be powered by Facebook's native advertising system and, with the Status feature allowing users to see how many people have viewed their posts, advertisers will be able to keep track of their ads better.
Around 100 companies, including Uber and Singapore Airlines, have already started testing ads for WhatsApp as they look ahead to next year, and the report states that they will be charged between half a penny and nine cents per ad, depending on the country.
For those concerned about privacy, the source also reports that messages between users will be encrypted and the app won't be able to read them. However, the company could store decrypted messages to facilitate better-targeted advertising.