WhatsApp is apparently getting advertisements and the company is probably already working to bring ads to the iOS version of the app. It has always been free of ads, as it offers end-to-end encryption for free of charge. This is, however, set to change.
According to a tweet by WABetaInfo, ads will be WhatsApp's new source of revenue.
And I want to add: WhatsApp is already working to implement ads in the iOS app. https://t.co/eL55pu1kFR
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) September 27, 2018
We cannot confirm the news but will update the story once an official statement is obtained from WhatsApp.
Jan Koum at the beginning of 2018, had declared leaving WhatsApp and stepping down from the Facebook board of directors because he apparently did not like the idea of ads on WhatsApp.
Also, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton left Facebook last year, after the, "It is time. #deletefacebook," tweet, in response to the Cambridge Analytica controversy.
Implementation of ads questions privacy. WhatsApp says it cannot access your data because of a promised end-to-end encryption for all users. However, by simple logic, playing ads will require WhatsApp to access that data so that ads can be targeted. Ads cannot be practically relevant without any consumer data.
One way to show ads could be to harvest data from Facebook, but that is if you have a connected Facebook account.
We don't know if end-to-end encryption is here to stay, but the news sure worries privacy activists. Getting rid of end-to-end encryption could mean that governments also get access to users data.