New Delhi: One of the most popular messaging app, WhatsApp is all set to introduce a new feature. Vice President of WhatsApp, Chris Daniels, on Wednesday made an announcement saying that s going to put advertisements in its “Status” feature. The app has over 1.5 billion users globally, including more than 250 million in India.

“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,” said Daniels.

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

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.

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.

Recently, WhatsApp also said that it will appoint the head of India operations by the year-end.  “Our new Head of WhatsApp India, who will be named by the end of the year, will build a local team that can serve our customers in India as well as work with partners and government leaders to help keep people safe,” WhatsApp spokesperson said in an email statement.

WhatsApp Vice President Chris Daniels on Wednesday met IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to discuss the issue of fake messages that have in the past triggered mob killings.

The government has stood firm in its stance on traceability and made it clear that it is not seeking decryption of messages on WhatsApp but rather wants the location and identification of senders of misinformation that provokes violence and heinous offences.

Also while the platform has appointed a grievance officer for India, the government has asked that the officer is stationed in India.

(With agency inputs)