WhatsApp will begin featuring ads through its Status feature in order to monetize the Facebook subsidiary, reports The Economic Times.
The messaging app’s Status feature allows users to share photos, text, and videos that automatically erase after 24 hours, similar to Snapchat and Instagram stories. Like these other platforms, WhatsApp will insert ads between your friends’ posts.
“That is going to be primary monetization mode for the company as well as an opportunity for businesses to reach people on WhatsApp,” Vice President Chris Daniels said Wednesday at an event in New Delhi, according to The Economic Times.
No timeline was given, but a report from this summer said ads would begin sometime in 2019.
Facebook has been pushing WhatsApp to monetize since buying the app for $19 billion in 2014. The messaging service, which offers end-to-end encryption for 1.5 billion users worldwide, once flirted with subscription fees, but dropped this idea in 2016.
At the time, WhatsApp also said it would remain ad-free, but this sentiment was primarily pushed by the app’s co-founders, who each left Facebook, Inc. within the past two years.