WhatsApp is the most popular third-party chatting client in the world and has remained an ad-free experience since it launched back in 2009.
However, that is about to change after Facebook, the social network giant that owns WhatsApp, announced adverts will be coming to the messaging platform next year, 2020.
The huge news was disclosed at Facebook’s recent Marketing Summit that took place in Rotterdam.
A slide showcasing the move was snapped by Olivier Ponteville, the head of media at social advertising firm Be Connect.
Social media industry commentator Matt Navarra also took pictures of the slide in question.
It was noted next year WhatsApp’s Status feature will showcase adverts as users engage in updates from friends and family.
Although not confirmed, the image of the ads in action suggested they will be displayed in a similar manner to that already present in Instagram Stories.
This means as users click through clips from others, adverts may place themselves in the transition between one user’s story and another.
And, just like Instagram’s promotions, the ads on WhatsApp were shown to similarly fill the entire screen of a device.
In the photo of the WhatsApp advert, an arrow was shown at the bottom that suggested users may be able to swipe up to interact with the promotion in some form.
WhatsApp Status debuted in 2017 and functions remarkably similarly to Snapchat Stories and Instagram Stories; users are able to upload photos or video that will disappear after 24 hours.
It is worth noting Facebook’s recent announcement only discussed the implementation of adverts in this particular mode.
This means it is not expected promotions will appear in other segments of the app such as chats themselves.
In response to the Tweets from Ponteville and Navarra, many WhatsApp users expressed their disappointment at the decision.
One said: “Time to leave WhatsApp and the complete Facebook family.”
Another stated: “It is time to erase WhatsApp from my phone.”
A third declared: “Oh well, time to look for an alternative then.”
Although a broad release date of 2020 was provided by Facebook during its Marketing Summit, a more precise launch for WhatsApp adverts is unknown.