I’ve got some great news for all Facebook advertisers out there. Though WhatsApp has always claimed that they do not publish ads into its own app, it now allows marketers to send people to the app from Facebook ads. Facebook has been the parent company of WhatsApp since 2014 and has since been trying to figure out ways to monetize the popular messaging app that is known to have over 1 billion daily users.
If you’ve never heard about WhatsApp, check out our recent post: 7 Reasons Why This App is Better Than Texting
Last week, Facebook officially launched a new ad feature that allows businesses to connect the two platforms: Advertisers can now include a button on their ads which allows users to call or message companies through WhatsApp.
Prior to Whatsapp being bought by Facebook, it stated:
Advertising isn’t just the disruption of aesthetics, the insult’s to your intelligence and the interruption of your train of thought.
Remember, when advertising is involved you the user are the product.
It thus seems that the original developers of WhatsApp may not be in accordance with all the changes that are happening to their app right now.
When Will WhatsApp Facebook Ads Function Be Available?
There have been rumors in the past that this function would roll out sooner or later, but Facebook now officially confirmed that it is slowly rolling it out gradually, starting with North and South America, Africa, Australia, and most of Asia. It appears that European based advertisers will have to wait for a bit.
The reason that Europe is excluded from this list may have to do with the fact that Facebook has been fined 110€ million euros for providing misleading information about its takeover of Whatsapp in 2014. In 2014, Facebook said it was not able to match user accounts on both platforms, but went on to do exactly that. A costly move for Facebook.
From what we understand, Facebook will try and introduce the function to the European market at a later stage, but will first observe how the feature is used in the rest of the world.
Whatsapp For Business
Many people already use WhatsApp to communicate with small businesses all over the world. Facebook claims that more than 1 million Facebook Pages already include their phone numbers associated with Whatsapp in their posts each month, showing that there is a demand for the function. It certainly allows companies to connect in a faster, informal, yet more efficient manner with customers.
Personally, I have heard of several companies that run their entire businesses over WhatsApp while using Facebook to promote their inventory.
WhatsApp vs. Facebook Messenger
Interesting to note, WhatsApp is in direct competition with Facebook’s native messaging app “Messenger” by providing this ad-function – Messenger has a similar ad-unit in which you can click to go to the messaging app.
We have already discussed the pros and cons of both messaging apps here but with WhatsApp now developing “Business Whatsapp” functions, the company is well on its way to becoming a stronger competitor for Messenger. These specific Whatsapp Business accounts are supposed to ensure more secure conversations between customers and businesses. We believe that WhatsApp will provide business accounts as specific products with pricing tiers, but this has yet to be confirmed.
Protip: Get Your Online Business Up and Running With Shopify. CLICK HERE to get started.
It thus seems that Facebook is applying a similar strategy to WhatsApp as to its Messenger app. We even believe that at some point WhatsApp will release in-app ads, which would be completely against WhatsApp’s original mission statement. Nevertheless, the signs are clear that Facebook is a monopoly in this sector and that they want to strengthen their position even further with all these developments.
Facebook also stated that it was testing a function to send people directly from Facebook pages to the WhatsApp app, but hasn’t made any statements on developments and didn’t share further details.
That is it for today. I am curious to know what you think about this development and how your business already uses or how it could use WhatsApp. I am a big fan of companies that communicate with their customers through WhatsApp since I personally love this fast and reliable method of communication. Let me know what you think in the comments below!