Facebook is all set to push ads into WhatsApp Stories from next year.
During the Facebook Marketing Summit, held this week in the Netherlands, the company disclosed that ads would start appearing on WhatsApp Stories from 2020. Olivier Ponteville, the digital media executive from Be Connect, a prominent digital media agency, was quick enough to click a few shots of slides explaining how the ads would appear on WhatsApp.
We live in an end-to-end encrypted environment inside our chat boxes, don’t we? While the WhatsApp Status’ features a little peek – ironically a lot more – into this world. With a grappling number of 450 million people using WhatsApp Stories, these ads would be the gateway to great profits making commercialization go hand in hand, whether we want it or we don’t, with our communication.
RIP Ads Free WhatsApp
Brian Acton, Co-founder of WhatsApp, was always against the very idea of Targeted advertisement. He envisioned WhatsApp as a platform of “No ads, no games, no gimmicks”, just a simple way of communication instead. This was where he particularly differed in his ideas from the current foster company Facebook that paid a whopping $19 billion to acquire WhatsApp.
It’s no secret that almost 99% of Facebook revenue comes from advertisements, and that’s why keeping WhatsApp away from Ads was inevitable. Hence we finally got notified about an almost death of privacy.
In an interview with Forbes, WhatsApp’s co-founders, Brian Acton and Jan Koum, confirmed that they had severed ties with Facebook on the difference of opinions on how WhatsApp would bring in the money.
Facebook paid a whopping $19 billion to take up the world’s most popular messaging app, WhatsApp, under its wings, and now it’s payback time for WhatsApp. Acton revealed that according to the internal calculation of profits, Facebook was on a target of $10 billion revenue run rate from WhatsApp within five years of monetization.
For 24 hours each day, Ads would venture into our status feed – a feature added to the application that resembles the Story Option on Facebook and Instagram – with their unwanted attractive interfaces, a window to glitters of money making opportunities for business heads that have little or no relation with the common people. These ads would be featured as a part of the WhatsApp product Catalog that will be integrated with existing Facebook Business Manager Catalog.
What one should be asking then is, who is to benefit from it other than Facebook?
The simple answer is brands who would get richer interfaces on the WhatsApp Business App. Hence, again in the push and pull of profits and losses, a common individual will be forced to accept an intrusion.
While Facebook and Instagram have already flooded their stories and feeds with paid spaces of ads running to a common man’s utter dismay, the only app that had been left alone now ends up being trapped in the money-making process!
And, this leads us to another mind-boggling question: Will our inbox be safe in their hands? While we still have some time before this feature finds a way into our phones, it is a serious question to be posted!
In 2019, a spokesperson for WhatsApp revealed that ads would not affect the “end-to-end encryption“ of messages. He explained that the team’s focus is primarily on creating user-friendly valuable features, and privacy is one such agenda.
While we await the revelation of what more this huge social media network (read trap) holds in store for us, a creepy realization might set in, ‘They know it all’
The other WhatsApp co-founder, Jan Koum, is highly sceptical of the way the social media is slowly turning into a base which absorbs everything about us.
“These days companies know literally everything about you, your friends, your interests, and they use it all to sell ads. At every company that sells ads, a significant portion of their engineering team spends their day tuning data mining, writing better code to collect your personal data… remember, when advertising is involved, you the user are the product,” says Jan Koum.
Are we voluntarily or involuntarily taking part in creating a Frankenstein which would end up destroying us? Only time has the answer to it and for unsuspecting people like us should keep applications on our phone updated!