WhatsApp is planning to serve ads in the future. The new development comes soon after a report claimed that WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook decided not to put ads on the instant messaging app, which has over 1.5 billion users worldwide. The Menlo Park, California-based company in 2018 announced that instead of showing ads on the platform directly, the company would leverage WhatsApp Status updates — a feature that is also available on Facebook and Instagram as Stories — to serve paid content.

Facebook hasn’t planned to completely shelve their advertisements plans for WhatsApp. The social networking giant reportedly suspended the push to bring ads to avoid “antagonizing regulators.”

Facebook could use phone numbers to match Facebook and WhatsApp accounts and render targeted ads to users. It might come into force once Facebook completes the unification of its messaging platforms: Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram.

The company is already under scrutiny for various antitrust issues, the plan to leverage WhatsApp’s user base that is on Facebook to target ads could get tricky. There is a possibility of mass deletion of Facebook accounts by WhatsApp who do not want to let the company join their social media profiles together with their messaging accounts.

Seems like ads on WhatsApp Status are for sure. Facebook has already showcased WhatsApp Status as a solution to monetize the platform with ads. Instagram Stories has been serving ads since January 2017.

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