It’s one of the most popular apps in the world, but it looks like WhatsApp could soon introduce a huge change.
The messaging could soon start displaying adverts to users, according to WhatsApp’s co-founder, Brian Acton.
WhatsApp was co-founded by Acton alongside Jan Koum back in 2009, but was purchased by Facebook in 2014.
Both Acton and Koum have now left WhatsApp, and it seems that their decision to leave may have been due to a disagreement over monetising the chat app.
According to Mirror, Facebook reassured Koum and Acton in 2014 that there would be “zero pressure” to monetise WhatsApp for the next five years but that means that monetisation could begin in 2019.
Speaking to Forbes, a WhatsApp spokesperson confirmed that the app will start displaying adverts in the ‘Status’ feature in 2019.
This completely goes against WhatsApp’s founders’ vision for the company.
In a blog written prior to the Facebook acquisition, the co-founders wrote: “These days companies know literally everything about you, your friends, your interests, and they use it all to sell ads.
“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.”
Several users have already taken to Twitter to express their annoyance at the change.
Nikki said: “If WhatsApp gets adverts I’m deleting.”
If #WhatsApp gets adverts I’m deleting
— 💋 N♥i♥k♥k♥i♥💋 (@nikkishaxh) September 30, 2018
Mdabuko added: “So basically GAME OVER. Thanks to Facebook your favorite brands and products will now be throwing adverts to you on WhatsApp!!!”
And Adesanmi said: “The future is scary! Even thinking about it gives me goosebumps. WhatsApp will start having adverts starting next year. Zuckerberg obviously needs more money.”
It is unclear when the change will be implemented.
Should WhatsApp go ahead with this change?
What do you think?