It’s been rumoured for a while and now WhatsApp looks set to finally bring adverts to its popular messaging app.
The Facebook-owned firm revealed the news during its annual Marking Summit in the Netherlands, with a rollout expected next year.
Photos of the way these new adverts will look have even been posted online with attendee Olivier Ponteville, giving fans a closer look at what’s to come.
The image, which can be seen on Twitter, shows how ads currently appear on Facebook and Instagram with a WhatsApp screenshot then revealed with a full-screen advert.
According to technology website BGR, once the message appears users will be able to “swipe up when an ad appears for more information about the product or service being advertised.”
Adverts in WhatsApp have been spoken about for a while but this is the first evidence that things are changing within the popular service.
How fans react is yet to been seen but it’s unlikely to go down well with its billions of users.
The bad news is that it seems there’s nothing that can be done to stop this new feature from arriving within the app.
It seems almost certain that there will be no way to switch them off or hide these paid-for messages which may prove to be hugely irritating.
However, there is some better news as it appears these ads will only be part of the status section of the app and not the main chats.
As the firm explains on its website, “WhatsApp Status allows you to share text, photos, videos and animated GIFs that disappear after 24 hours.
“In order to send and receive status updates to and from your contacts, both you and your contacts must have each other’s phone numbers saved in your address book.”
There might be another reason why WhatsApp is introducing adverts and that’s to make sure the service stays free.
By making companies pay for the privilege of posting messages in your status it should mean there’s no reason to charge users a fee.
In recent interview, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg spoke about advertising saying: “I personally don’t believe that very many people would like to pay to not have ads.
“It may still end up being the right thing to offer that as a choice down the line, but all the data that I’ve seen suggests that the vast, vast, vast majority of people want a free service, and that the ads, in a lot of places, are not even that different from the organic content in terms of the quality of what people are being able to see.”
There’s no official date for the advert update but Matt Navarra, social media industry commentator, has posted a tweet which states “WhatsApp Status (Stories) to get Ads in 2020.”
We’ll wait and see when Facebook makes an official announcement but fans may not have long left to enjoy an advert-free WhatsApp