Facebook reportedly ends plans to sell ads in WhatsApp
Facebook-owned WhatsApp is undoubtedly one of the most popular messaging apps out there. Launched all the way back in 2009, the app wasn’t initially free to use and charged users a download fee. The download fee was soon replaced with an annual subscription of $0.99, which was dropped when Facebook acquired the company in 2014. In just two years after that, WhatsApp crossed the 1 billion monthly active users mark, setting a major milestone. However, despite its success, the app wasn’t making any money for Facebook.
In 2018, Facebook unveiled plans to generate more revenue from the app by selling ads. WhatsApp’s VP back then, Chris Daniels, revealed that the company had plans to push ads on WhatsApp stories as part of Facebook’s monetization efforts for WhatsApp. The idea behind the move was to generate some revenue from the app and allow businesses to reach WhatsApp users around the world. However, WhatsApp’s founders were strongly against the move and co-founder Brian Acton resigned from Facebook following disagreements over how Facebook should monetize WhatsApp.
Now, according to a recent report from The Wall Street Journal, Facebook seems to be backing away from its plans to sell ads in WhatsApp. People familiar with the matter have revealed that WhatsApp has recently disbanded a team that had been established to find the best ways to integrate ads into the service. The team’s work was then deleted from WhatsApp’s code, the people added.
The company still plans to introduce ads to the WhatsApp Status feature at some point, but for now, the focus has shifted to generating revenue from businesses by allowing them to communicate with customers on the platform. Additionally, WhatsApp’s tools allow businesses to sort and automatically respond to customer service queries and display in-app product catalogs. This could help the messenger generate some revenue for Facebook until it finally introduces ads.
Source: The Wall Street Journal