At the famous annual Facebook Marketing Summit 2019 event, held in the Netherlands,  Facebook  announced that  WhatsApp will have ads from 2020 . “WhatsApp will include advertising in its states from 2020,” tweeted Olivier Ponteville, head of media at BeConnectAgency, who attended the event. To this day, many of us have enjoyed an instant messaging platform that, unlike many other apps, was ad-free.

WhatsApp users were expecting announcements for 2019, as we were made aware of this a while ago, but as we have already seen, this was not yet launched. Last year, in August, Facebook’s vice president of business alliances and marketing had said that the company planned to generate revenue from WhatsApp. The most popular messaging application in the world will no longer be “ad-free”  and will have ads in certain places on the platform.

WhatsApp: ads like Instagram stories

We have been told that the ads will be  very similar to those on Instagram , located in the stories and with a direct link to the respective ads. WhatsApp states, or WhatsApp States, allow users to upload photos, videos, or GIFs that disappear after 24 hours of posting. Instead of seeing the status of the contacts we have,  we will see the name of the company and its respective advertisement  on different occasions. This means that we will not find an announcement in the middle of a conversation, which relieves many of the users who were surprised when they heard the news.

This could be the best way to introduce ads to the platform without being overly intrusive. Also, WhatsApp statuses, even though they are visible, are not that popular among its users. Ads within WhatsApp were always known to come one day as Facebook has long sought to monetize the world’s largest messaging platform.

It has also been announced that messages can be  exchanged with official numbers of companies and brands , which we or they can initiate directly to certain users. Conversations initiated by companies will be paid, although the value of each message has not yet been specified. Of course, knowing the great size of the platform, it is not expected to be cheap.

Still, the ads on WhatsApp will mean higher data consumption, as these will load when available. You’ll see them on the status page, which means they are downloaded while you’re using the app and could mean an increase in your WhatsApp data usage.

Connected with Facebook

They also revealed how the companies or brands that choose them will be able to buy those ads. WhatsApp ads will be integrated into Facebook’s advertising catalog . In this way, companies will already know the mechanics and operation of the ads, and will be able to invest in the ads from the Facebook advertising manager.

In addition, WhatsApp will have the information of its users through Facebook. If a user of the social network likes a brand, this company can contact him directly by sending him a message through WhatsApp. This may seem like an invasion of the privacy of such users, but also a highly effective way for companies to reach potential consumers.

WhatsApp Business: the perfect tool for companies

Matt Navarra, social media consultant and commentator, also posted on Twitter about the new updates Facebook is adding to WhatsApp soon. In addition to the ads in WhatsApp Status Stories, the other two features are the richer messaging options and the integration of the WhatsApp product catalog with the existing Facebook Business Manager catalog.

This integration is an attempt to improve the user experience while chatting with companies. It is a functionality that will allow companies to add their product catalog directly to chats. This will be beneficial for companies that do not have large advertising campaigns and want to promote their products through WhatsApp.

Although it is still in the testing period,  WhatsApp Business will be able to separate your personal messages from your work messages . It will be an independent application to WhatsApp, and will allow to serve customers or employees through text messages. It will look more or less the same as the conventional application, but with more serious and professional nuances. In the settings tab, we will find new sections such as statistics and company settings, where we can analyze data and choose what type of company we are. WhatsApp Business will also verify certain companies so users know who they are communicating with.

The truth is that WhatsApp Business promises a lot. Brands are already preparing for their final launch, and the application will give them the opportunity to talk with customers, improve their customer service and launch personalized promotions. The app is already available in the Play Store and Google Play, although few are lucky who can enjoy the application as it is in beta.