What you need to know
- A new report claims Facebook plans to start selling ads in WhatsApp eventually.
- Facebook could implement targeted ads on the encrypted messaging app by matching users' WhatsApp phone numbers with their Facebook account.
- The social networking giant will be able to begin showing ads in WhatsApp only after it finishes linking all its social platforms.
In late 2018, Facebook had announced that it would start putting ads within WhatsApp's Status feature to monetize the encrypted messaging app. Earlier this year, however, the Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook is backing away from its plan to sell ads in WhatsApp and instead focusing on enhancing features for business users. A new report from The Information now says Facebook plans to introduce ads in WhatsApp once it unifies all its messaging apps.
The report also sheds light on exactly how Facebook plans to serve ads in WhatsApp. The company would serve targeted ads to WhatsApp users by "matching" their phone numbers with their Facebook accounts. However, some executives within the company are reportedly against this plan, as they are worried it could result in several WhatsApp users deleting their Facebook accounts.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had revealed during an earnings call in January last year that combining the company's major messaging platforms would take a long time and it isn't expected to be completed before the end of 2020. The antitrust investigation against the company by the FTC may also result in regulatory issues, which could delay the monetization plan further.
In a statement sent to Engadget, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed that "ads in status remains a long-term opportunity for WhatsApp."