In October 2014, Facebook completed its acquisition of the popular messaging app WhatsApp. However, the investment hasn’t quite paid off for Facebook, as WhatsApp does not have any major revenue stream. This is expected to change very soon as WhatsApp is currently working on showing ads in its Status feature. While performing a teardown of the latest WhatsApp APK, we found some fresh evidence suggesting the app could soon display shopping ads similar to those that you see on the Facebook and Instagram apps.
WhatsApp to Display Shopping Ads Soon?
We decided to perform a teardown of the latest WhatsApp 2.18.309 beta version and found various strings that shed more light on how ads will work in the Status feature. As revealed by a previous leak, users will be able to post a product message to their Status for a limited period of time. Similar to how shopping ads on Facebook and Instagram work, the product message can include a link to a product page where it can be purchased. To help WhatsApp identify and remove products that do not meet its guidelines, WhatsApp users will be able to report a product. A product can be reported if it is illegal, abusive, counterfeit, or if the pictures don’t match the description. In many countries, including India, WhatsApp happens to be the most popular messaging platform. By rolling out shopping ads in WhatsApp, the app will finally start making some money for Facebook. It is expected that the feature will begin rolling out globally starting early next year.
Shopping ads will not be the only new feature coming to WhatsApp soon. The world’s most popular messaging app will soon allow users to download Sticker packs from the Sticker Store. It is expected that the sticker packs on WhatsApp will be the exact same ones available on Facebook’s Messenger platform.
Disclaimer: The above information is based on evidence found inside the WhatsApp 2.18.309 beta APK. Since there is no official confirmation from WhatsApp regarding shopping ads on its platform yet, there is a chance that the above-mentioned feature may not work as described or may even be cancelled entirely.