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WhatsApp To Put Advertisements in its “Status” Feature

Four years after its acquisition by Facebook for $19 billion, WhatsApp, which now has over 1.5 billion users (against Facebook's 2.3 billion), will reportedly carry targeted ads from 2019 -- on a platform that has been ad-free till date

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WhatsApp geared up to show ads in 'Status,' confirms VP Chris Daniels. Pixabay

Clearing the air on Facebook’s monetisation efforts towards WhatsApp, the mobile messaging service’s Vice President Chris Daniels on Wednesday said the company is going to put advertisements in its “Status” feature.

“We are going to be putting ads in ‘Status’. That is going to be primary monetisation mode for the company as well as an opportunity for businesses to reach people on WhatsApp,” Daniels told reporters here.

Daniels, however, did not give any timeline to this development that has been in the news for some time.

WhatsApp has over 1.5 billion users globally, including more than 250 million in India.

There were media reports earlier this month that the Facebook-owned messaging app is planning to allow advertisements to be displayed in the “Status” section of the app.

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WhatsApp on a smartphone device. Pixabay

WhatsApp’s “Status” feature allows users to share text, photos, videos and animated GIFs that disappear after 24 hours.

According to media reports, the advertisements would be powered by Facebook’s native advertising system and would be aimed at helping users understand and participate in businesses using the messaging app.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s goal to monetise WhatsApp has forced the social media messaging service’s co-founders to leave the company.

Also Read- Facebook Planning To Set up a Sprawling Office

One of them, Brian Acton, told Forbes recently that Zuckerberg was in a rush to make money from the messaging service and undermine elements of its encryption technology. “Targeted advertising is what makes me unhappy,” Acton said.

Four years after its acquisition by Facebook for $19 billion, WhatsApp, which now has over 1.5 billion users (against Facebook’s 2.3 billion), will reportedly carry targeted ads from 2019 — on a platform that has been ad-free till date. (IANS)

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WhatsApp, NASSCOM to Impart Digital Literacy

These volunteers will post their takeaways from the workshops on their social media handles to increase the reach of these safety messages

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FILE - The WhatsApp icon is seen on a smartphone in this picture illustration, in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. VOA

In a bid to curb fake news during the general elections, WhatsApp and NASSCOM Foundation on Monday came together to impart digital literacy training.

As part of the partnership, WhatsApp and NASSCOM Foundation will train nearly 1,00,000 Indians to spot false information and provide tips and tricks to stay safe on WhatsApp.

The co-created curriculum, which includes real-world anecdote tools that can be used to verify a forwarded message and actions that users can take like reporting problematic content to fact checkers and other law enforcement agencies, will be disseminated in multiple regional languages.

“We are excited to expand our partnerships with civil society to advance crucial digital literacy skills that can help combat misinformation share on WhatsApp,” Abhijit Bose, Head of India, WhatsApp, said in a statement.

“This training educates people throughout India to be mindful of the messages they receive and to verify the facts before forwarding,” he added.

The training will be imparted by volunteers from NASSCOM Foundation who will launch the “each one teach three” campaign that mandates every volunteer to share their learnings with three more persons leading to a network effect.

Users can set verification to be required immediately upon log-in. Pixabay

These volunteers will post their takeaways from the workshops on their social media handles to increase the reach of these safety messages.

The first training will be on March 27 in Delhi and will be followed by more planned interventions like hosting training workshops for representatives from rural and urban areas along with roadshows across numerous colleges.

“The use of technology platforms like WhatsApp are inherently meant to foster social good, harmony, and collaboration, but are sadly being used by a small number of miscreants to entice anger and hatred by spreading false and doctored information,” Ashok Pamidi, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation, said.

Also Read- New Zealand Firms to Pull Ads From Facebook, Google

“I would like to urge all the connected citizens who want to join this fight against the spread of fake information, to come and help volunteer towards the cause,” Pamidi added.

Aspiring volunteers can register at www.mykartavya.nasscomfoundation.org

NASSCOM Foundation is the social arm of the industry body, National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM). (IANS)