Facebook purchased mobile messaging service WhatsApp way back in February 2014, but it wasn’t until earlier this year that the tech giant stepped up plans to monetise the platform.

In August, Facebook launched its WhatsApp Business API and told the New York Times it would begin showing ads directly in the WhatsApp Status feature from 2019 onwards.

So what does this mean for affiliates? Does this development present them with an additional income stream?

“Affiliates are always ahead of the curve when it comes to innovative new ways of getting traffic. More often than not they are the canaries in the mine and will test these types of new avenues well before brands get to it,” argued Wag.io founder Roo Wright.

“They’re nimble and can react quickly to new technologies, identify what works and what doesn’t with lightning speed. I see the addition of advertising within WhatsApp as no different. If there is a way to make money out of it, affiliates will be there!”

OLBG’s Richard Moffat was similarly encouraged by the opportunity, admitting that he wasn’t yet “sure what the rules are” but describing it as “a good opportunity” nonetheless.

“I know ads within Facebook messenger can really stand out so this would be very similar. I expect more so for operators advertising direct though as for affiliates to compete with operators directly on any paid advertising is very hard,” he expanded.

However, Miratrix’s Nick Duddy was a little less optimistic: “I think it’d be difficult for affiliates to monetise in WhatsApp as the same restrictions will be in place for them as there are for Facebook ads.

“For those that are lucky in the affiliate industry, these could be used at specific times e.g. match/competition times to hit people when they’re most engaged with the topic which affiliates are pushing at that particular moment.”

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