WhatsApp could soon lose many users because of its decision to introduce this update

WhatsApp is the most popular chat app that billions of people use every day. It’s not only serving as a medium for daily conversations but also a messenger that most Indians spring onto to send ‘Good Morning’ greetings. With so much popularity and free model, WhatsApp is ubiquitous on all the major platforms – Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and PC. But as they say, nothing comes for free, the Facebook-owned company has confirmed that it will begin to serve advertisements within the app.

While it was just a speculation earlier, WhatsApp vice president Chris Daniels, in a briefing in India earlier this year, confirmed that the advertisements will be put into the Status feature. The WhatsApp Status is soon going to feature ads, much like how Instagram treats the advertisements. This has indirectly raised an inevitable question among the users whether they are ready to be annoyed by pesky advertisements on WhatsApp. Well, 40 per cent users said that they will stop using WhatsApp after advertisements make its way to the app’s Status feature.

In a poll conducted by WABetaInfo, which watchdogs the latest news on WhatsApp, on Twitter, around 60 per cent users agreed to continue using WhatsApp as they would not find the advertisements ‘invasive’. However, 40 per cent users voted against the introduction of advertisements on the platform and that they might delete the chat app. It should be noted that the total number of votes registered after the poll ended were 1,672, which may seem like a minuscule figure when compared with the huge user base WhatsApp enjoys. However, this also tells that many people are not in favour of the Facebook-owned company’s decision to pry into user’s chat data to serve ads – although it is not clear whether WhatsApp will infiltrate end-to-end encryption to scan chats and serve personalised ads.

The first time WhatsApp was learnt to put advertisements into its app was when two company officials confirmed the same to The Wall Street Journal. Later, a TechCrunch report quoted another WhatsApp key person confirming the same. The development was finally stamped with the confirmation coming directly from the horse’s mouth. WhatsApp VP Chris Daniels confirmed the Status will soon start featuring advertisements.

“We are going to be putting ads in ‘Status’. That is going to be primary monetisation mode for the company as well as an opportunity for businesses to reach people on WhatsApp,” Daniels told media at a briefing in New Delhi.

Vikram Aadi extensively covers Asia's personal device and connected services ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and culture. Hit him up on Twitter, or via mail: vikram@thb2.com.

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