Facebook has confirmed the messaging app will feature ads at its annual Marketing Summit in the Netherlands.
It would work in a similar way to how ads appear on Instagram Stories, with a ‘swipe up’ function if users want to find out more about them.
Technology reporter Jess Kelly says it will release the ads through the ‘my status’ feature.
“This is Facebook’s attempt to make WhatsApp a viable business,” said Ms Kelly.
“Because at this moment and time [WhatsApp] is completely free.”
Ms Kelly said that within the status bar “advertisers will be able to take up space and send you ads.”
Earlier this month, WhatsApp rolled out a security fix after concerns were raised hackers could inject surveillance software on to phones via the call function.
The app discovered a vulnerability that allowed attackers to install malicious code on iPhones and Android phones by ringing up a target device.
The company, which has some 1.5 billion users worldwide, was acquired by Facebook in 2014.