In a not-so-surprising revelation, Olivier Ponteville who attended the Facebook Marketing Summit 2019 tweeted that WhatsApp Status will see the introduction of advertisements in 2019. The announcement, based on Ponteville's photo, was made during one of the presentations at the summit.

The announcement is not entirely surprising given that Instagram, another Facebook platform, already runs advertisements in its Instagram Stories feature which is similar to WhatsApp Status. Added to that, Chris Daniels (Vice President at WhatsApp) previously during 2018 had revealed that WhatsApp Status advertisements would likely be the primary monetisation mode for the instant messaging platform.

This announcement is in addition to the new features announced earlier in the year. These included a business catalog option in WhatsApp which connects users with businesses, allowing them to browse products from within WhatsApp, somewhat similar to what Facebook is testing with Instagram.

"People and businesses are finding WhatsApp a great way to connect. In the months ahead people will be able to see a business catalog right within WhatsApp when chatting with a business. With catalogs, businesses can showcase their goods so people can easily discover them."

With the introduction of advertisements in WhatsApp, which also likely means the collection of user data to improve targeting of advertisements, it remains to be seen how many WhatsApp users will remain using the chat app given concerns around Facebook and how it handles privacy around the user data it collects to help with targeting advertisements.

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