In late 2018, Facebook had announced that to monetize the encrypted messaging app, it will start inserting advertisements within WhatsApp’s Status function. However, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year that Facebook abandoned its decision to sell ads in WhatsApp and then focuses on enhancing apps for business users.
A recent study from The Information also says Facebook aims to launch advertisements in WhatsApp once all of its messaging services are united. However, some company executives are reportedly opposed to this initiative, as they are worried that some WhatsApp users will result in their Facebook accounts being deleted.
The study also illustrates precisely how Facebook is planning to deliver advertisements in WhatsApp. By “matching” their phone numbers with their Facebook profiles, the company will deliver targeted advertisements to WhatsApp users.
During an earnings call in January last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that merging the major messaging channels of the company would take a long time and it is not expected to be completed before the end of 2020. The FTC’s antitrust lawsuit against the company may also lead to regulatory concerns, which may further complicate the monetization program.
A spokesperson for Facebook stated in a statement sent to Engadget that “advertising in status is still a long-term opportunity for WhatsApp.”