Social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have advertising on their platforms. Nor the popular messenger service WhatsApp could now follow suit and display advertising in the future. At least that’s what Facebook manager David Marcus suggested at the Facebook conference F8. But what does WhatsApp advertising mean to you as a user?
Will you be flooded with advertisements during news writing in the future? And is WhatsApp advertising really coming? We will tell you…
WhatsApp Advertising: Jan Koum leaves, advertising arrives
“Why we don’t sell ads” was the WhatsApp founders’ headline on the WhatsApp blog in 2012. Now, a good six years later, the picture could change. After Brian Acton left the social media platform last year, the second WhatsApp founder Jan Koum is now throwing in the towel. This could mean that there will soon be advertisements on WhatsApp. Industry observers had long suspected that if Jan leaves, the WhatsApp advertising would come.
The WhatsApp messenger service was acquired by Facebook in 2014. The founders were nevertheless involved in the further development of Messenger and also advocated that WhatsApp should remain ad-free. At least so far. With the departure of Jan Koum, Facebook wants to open the Messenger service for advertising in WhatsApp. This was confirmed by Facebook manager David Marcus in an interview at the F8 conference.
WhatsApp Advertising and Privacy: Is That Possible?
There’s nothing new about WhatsApp and Facebook exchanging data. This data exchange has been taking place since 2016 and enables Facebook not only to identify users, but also to display personalised advertising on the social media platform. Facebook could now take advantage of this to display WhatsApp ads.
WhatsApp advertising could look like this
Apart from David Marcus’ confirmation that there may be advertising on WhatsApp in the future, there is still no concrete information on WhatsApp advertising.
It is therefore conceivable that Facebook will expand communication between companies and their customers. In the course of this, WhatsApp Business could be further expanded and offer companies new opportunities for customer contact. Currently, only small businesses can create a WhatsApp business account through WhatsApp Business. In the future, this option will also be available to larger companies.
Are banner ads in WhatsApp coming?
The second variant that Kühl considers possible are advertising banners. Similar to Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp could display them between messages or in your contact list. The data exchange between WhatsApp and Facebook is again responsible for individualisation. However, here too it is questionable what the situation is with regard to WhatsApp data protection – especially with regard to GDPR, which will come into force on 25 May.
Whether and if so how advertising will be integrated into WhatsApp and how this will affect WhatsApp’s data protection will probably become apparent in the coming months. Until then, we’ll just have to wait.