WhatsApp has 1.5 billion monthly users, but fewer than 20 million in the U.S. Ad campaign objectives now include traffic, conversions (for website), and post engagement.

Bloomberg – Facebook Merging Apps Could Bolster Ads, Defense Against Breakup
Adweek – Ads Are Coming to WhatsApp Status Sometime in 2019, but Will Agencies Bite?
Marketing Land – Facebook adds new reporting for Click-to-WhatsApp ads
Facebook Ads – Create Ads that click to WhatsApp in Ads Manager

Facebook has added traffic, conversions and page post engagement objectives for its Click-to-WhatsApp ads — ads that launch a WhatsApp chat via the Facebook News Feed.
whatsapp ads. source

Last August, Facebook launched News Feed ads that would open chat in Whatsapp. This made it possible for buyers to take with the business in the encrypted messaging app through their Facebook Timelines. They also released the WhatsApp Business API and informed the New York Times of its plans to start showing ads in the WhatsApp Status feature in the coming year.

These moves and planning all to monetize WhatsApp. Despite its past experience of remaining independent from Facebook since it’s acquisition, it seems that Facebook is starting to open up in bringing WhatsApp as an ad channel. The first installment of ads are coming this year and it’s time to find out just what marketers and advertisers think about this move.

Barely any surprise there.

Most people aren’t surprised as more and more people are spending their time in mobile. With the success ads have had in Messenger, WhatsApp ads just seemed like the next obvious move according to Ben-Itzhak. It’s just the same with other channels that have succeeded in bring upon organic engagement.

Ryan Kelly of Nanigans and Akvile DeFazio of AKvertise agreed with Ben-Itzhak’s sentiments. As Facebook has continually expanded its advertising opportunities in every part possible, it’s just next in line. As we know, they have done it for Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network and Messenger so the success is really there.

Though DeFazio currently doesn’t have any interested clients in Whatsapp ads, it’s still expected for it to be monetized. It will still be a new opportunity to increase ad revenue and expand reach especially with the younger generation. She believes that with time, more and more advertisers will give WhatsApp a try with test campaigns and its success.

Allocation of Ad Budgets

CEO of Socialbakers agreed with DeFazio in the need to test these ad opportunities first and evaluate. These will then drive the major decision if they will shift their ad budgets into WhatsApp ads.

The smart move in Whatsapp, according to Yuval Ben-Itzhak, is to create ads that are significant and personalized. It will be almost as if one is chatting with friends. It’s going to be a whirlwind…