Its been a while since Facebook bought the popular instant messaging app, WhatsApp. While the new management has seen the app acquire a couple of great features, the question of monetizing the application has been lingering ever since.
The largest social media company in the world bought the app in February, 2014 for $19 billion which would mean about just over $40 per user at the time. WhatsApp had 450 million monthly active users and 315 million daily active users at the time it was acquired before growing to have an estimated 1.5 billion users today.
Facebook has acquired more than 71 companies to date including Instagram, Oculus and Friendster. Facebook claims it mostly buys them to acquire talent or their products, yet most of them end up being shutdown. This might be Facebook’s way of killing off competition and in some cases acquiring actual talent.
So it is very important for WhatsApp to start making Facebook some money from its large user base and seeing that it cost them so much. Many have suggested that WhatsApp should sell advertisements to make money, but that is not how the founders had envisioned the app operating until now.
You will remember WhatsApp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton libelously stating in media even after acquisition that WhatsApp would not serve ads to its users, it would remain free for the first year and be paid for by subscription after, which never happened after Facebook made it free forever.
Ever-since the founder, Brian Acton left Facebook unceremoniously after an apparent misunderstanding with Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg; there have been some changes. The Vice President of WhatsApp, Chris Daniels now wants to have adverts running in the status section of the app.
He believes that this would be a great way for companies to reach new clients while the app clearly rakes in lots of money from the many users. This is not new though, Snapchat has already experimented with similar marketing in its stories and Instagram is thinking down the same line.
The status section of WhatsApp has grown to become more popular than Snapchat’s stories yet Snapchat invented the use of short stories which would self destruct after 24 hours.
VP Chris Daniels did not give a timeline as to when the ads would start running but it appears to be something that is going to happen for sure.
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Author: Daniel Odaka
Daniel is a writer and communications expert with a love for tech, science and cars. He believes tech is a lifestyle and we all live it in the way we communicate, work, move and go about our lives. To maintain a lifestyle you need to keep on top of it and that’s where he comes in