Facebook-owned WhatsApp, which has remained as one of the favourite messaging platforms for internet users around the world, is now planning to introduce advertisements on the platform.
According to a report by The Indian Express, the company, at the Facebook Marketing Summit (FMC) 2019, Netherlands, announced that it is going to launch advertisements on the Status section of the WhatsApp mobile application.
What Is WhatsApp Ads?
The advertisements, which are going to somehow spoil the user experience on the platform, will work similarly to ads displayed on Instagram’s Story section. Users can swipe the advertisement to know more about the advertised product or service. As of now, a user can only see photographs, videos, and text messages in the Status section of the application.
While the users can see the name of the advertiser, they won’t be able to see the WhatsApp number or the profile picture of advertisers. Currently, WhatsApp has not revealed the launch date of the advertisement feature. Moreover, the advertisement feature is expected to be rolled out for both Android and iOS users.
WhatsApp’s Monetisation Plans
For WhatsApp, India has been one of the key markets. As of now, the company has more than 400 Mn users in India. Besides the upcoming advertisement feature, WhatsApp has been earning through its Business platform. WhatsApp’s Indian unit, Whatsapp Application Services Private Limited, had reported a revenue of INR 6.84 Cr in its first year of operations. It was speculated that most of the revenue for the company had come from the WhatsApp Business platform.
Moreover, WhatsApp has also been keen on entering India’s fintech space by launching WhatsApp Payments in India. However, WhatsApp has been stuck in limbo for digital payment plans.
Although the company had scheduled the launch for WhatsApp Payments in May 2018, it had hit a roadblock with the issues of data localisation. To look into the case, the Supreme Court, in August 2019, urged the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to examine WhatsApp Payments for six weeks and report if it has fulfilled its data localisation requirements.
RBI, in November 2019, told SC that WhatsApp is non-compliant with data localisation norms. At that time, RBI further added that it has directed the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to not allow a full-scale launch of WhatsApp Payments.