The regular nuisance of advertising clutter is something many users face on a daily basis. Many of us have made peace with the fact that Facebook is full of advertising banners and still spend a lot of time on this website. WhatsApp however, was free from these adverts. Even though Facebook acquired WhatsApp a while ago, however, it did not introduce any drastic changes in the app.
The essence of the app has been kept intact … but that is about to change now!
In a recent blog, WhatsApp has announced that the service will be used not just for individuals but also businesses. WhatsApp is creating a marketplace for businesses to advertise their products. This decision is based on the tons of user data that is already available through Facebook.
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WhatsApp had a different business philosophy before its acquisition, as it stated back in 2012 in a blog:
“These days companies know literally everything about you, your friends, your interests; and they use it all to sell ads. Remember, when advertising is involved you the user are the product”
The blog was titled as “Why we don’t sell ads”.
The monetization ideas which were mocked earlier on are now being implemented.
Many analysts believe that making WhatsApp a marketplace for businesses doesn’t seem like a logical step. But others believe that this decision was always on the cards since Facebook operates on this very basic model. Facebook has complete information about its users, their friends, their interests and uses this information to reach out to its customers. Therefore, this demographic database allows businesses to tailor their ad campaigns.
A good news for small businesses
This decision is expected to benefit small and mid-sized businesses as they can advertise their products and contact customers on WhatsApp groups. They can do this by paying a small verification fee to Facebook and also ensure message delivery. In addition, small firms can stay connected to their customers 24/7 while saving costs at the same time.
Although not a pleasant one for users who tend to get annoyed by constant advertisements and eventually block them. WhatsApp, on the other hand, is selling this benefit as it connects business to people and business to business. Additionally, verified businesses will also be identified with the help of a green mark.
After acquiring WhatsApp, Facebook has not really changed the core essence of the app but it is no longer going to stay the same. The enterprise ad solution will remain free for businesses for a while but its monetization is on the cards for sure. Initially, the customers will have the liberty to opt into this advertising model and can control it to a certain extent. However, after its complete monetization within a year, it will be tilted towards cold calls.
Although it is still unclear as to what will be the level of privacy invasion for the end user, but the fact that it will generate revenue, Facebook will roll it out soon. Many predict, the ads will appear in similarity to Facebook Messenger. Nonetheless, the user experience of WhatsApp will not be the same with tons of advertisements appearing frequently.