I don’t know about you, but I have been a loyal user of WhatsApp since it started rolling out in the last decade (?).
It has been my faithful companion through those stormy JC and Uni days. Even as my friends started trading WhatsApp for Telegram and other messaging apps, I have remained steadfast in my commitment to my first love.
No matter how appealing the features of other apps were, WhatsApp has always been the apple of my eye.
But I started having second thoughts when my love decided to bring along his annoying, loserish friends on our dates soon: WhatsApp ads.
Hello, hasn’t anyone told you? Three’s a crowd.
If you still haven’t gotten it by now, WhatsApp has decided to start putting advertisements on its app. That’s right, gone are the days my pure and innocent app is free of ulterior motives.
(Though yes, we understand, it’s not a charity app…)
But no worries, it won’t be in your face. At least you won’t see an ad about BTS when you’re telling your friends about your behind-the-scene jokes.
Instead, ads will appear in ‘Status’, as part of the company’s monetisation plans. The ‘Status’ feature is also a new medium for businesses to extend their reach to consumers.
I won’t be surprised if you didn’t even know the existent of “Status”: it’s somewhat like Instagram Stories for WhatsApp that no one uses. At least that’s what everyone in the office understands.
And since WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, we can expect the ads to be driven by Facebook’s native advertising system.
An Act Of Betrayal
Seems like I’m not the only one who sees those ads as a nasty intrusion in my relationship with WhatsApp. The third-party appearance has been a major turn-off for many.
According to Marketing, Karu Khoo, head of digital marketing at Creative Unicorn, sees the entrance of ads as a bad move. To him, “the move makes users feel betrayed as now their privacy is being intruded upon and their most inner secrets are now shared to brands and advertisers to be targeted.”
That’s right, boy, betrayed is exactly how I feel when your friends wedge themselves between us and our private emojis.
Well, especially so when people are moving towards Telegram.
At least for the younger generation, that is. My ugly and old boss is still using SMS and according to him, he’s “loving it”.
A Kept Promise?
According to Independent, WhatsApp promised me in his 2016 blog post that the ads would never come between us and “interrupt our communication”.
I certainly hope so, and he seems to be keeping his word. How so?
And it seems like even the founders of WhatsApp aren’t happy with this new direction: their departure was allegedly due to a disagreement on how to monetize the app.
Well, so far it seems that WhatsApp is only sliding its marketing posts in between updates from friends. This means that as long as I bury my head in the sand and steer clear of the ‘Status’ function, I need not worry about our relationship being intruded by third parties.
What a relief.
Because seriously…who looks at WhatsApp status?
Fresh grads, you don’t need any experience to earn up to $4,200 with this “secret”:
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