This could really be good: WhatsApp to start running ads


I remember when I started using WhatsApp around 2009 when it first started, it was on my Nokie E71 and this app was good. It made sending messages easier and fun in an era where MMS was new and difficult to use because of some settings you need to download and install. I believe this was one of the selling points for WhatsApp in Nigeria and some African countries since you only need to install the App and that was all, everything else happened automatically.

There was one thing it promised and till today it has kept to that promise – to make WhatsApp free for everyone.

The company chose to focus instead on instead on people and making the App better with each new updates to the point of including a dedicated App for Businesses and even in that department it has been doing good. One of the company policies and mantra is never to sell ads and this is stated on its blog page

When we sat down to start our own thing together three years ago we wanted to make something that wasn’t just another ad clearinghouse. We wanted to spend our time building a service people wanted to use because it worked and saved them money and made their lives better in a small way. We knew that we could charge people directly if we could do all those things. We knew we could do what most people aim to do every day: avoid ads.

In 2014 when Facebook purchased the chat giant for $19b, I thought wow, now WhatsApp will start selling ads (considering that Facebook runs primarily on ads) but 4 years on they still don’t show ads until now.

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In a statement credited to the Vice President of the company Chris Daniels in late October, the company will start showing ads in its status feature sometimes in the future

“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,”

There was a something in the statement that caught my own attention and made me decide to write this, “opportunity to reach people on WhatsApp“.

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As of 2017, there were between 40 – 60 million active users of WhatsApp in Nigeria daily. Imagine when you post a status updates on your WhatsApp and see up to 100 people who have viewed it? Now multiply that a couple of times to see the possible reach this app can give your business.

While some use the app majorly for fun and reaching out to folks, as a business owner and tech enthusiast, I always look for opportunities and ways to get my work done better, faster and more efficient and ultimately to reach more people.

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While WhatsApp works on the ads campaign very soon, I guess it’s time to start preparing your mind to spend a little bucks to reach the specific audience that can help your business grow.


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