Facebook still wants to put ads into WhatsApp
WhatsApp is a service that is used by billions of people around the world. The app’s popularity is fueled by the fact that it is free to use and it operates on an ad-free model. This has not always been the case though: many years ago, WhatsApp was available on a semi-premium monetization model, which required you to pay $1 a year to use it, a subscription model which was mostly irrelevant as many people even got more free time added to their subscription just by sheer usage. Given how WhatsApp doesn’t really have any ads, Facebook isn’t really making much money from it, but they want to change that.
Facebook has been wanting to introduce ads into the app for a while. All of Facebook’s ventures, including the eponymous social media service as well as Instagram, feature ads through certain parts of the UI, and WhatsApp remains the only Facebook service to not feature any ads. This is despite the fact that Facebook purchased WhatsApp for $16 billion in 2014, so the service has a decent target for wanting to break even for its purchaser.
The simple possibility of Facebook adding ads into WhatsApp, though, has led to a rough backlash from the community. Actually adding them would probably be even worse, so Facebook reportedly ended their plans to do so. However, a new report from TheInformation indicates that Facebook might still be looking into the possibility of adding ads to WhatsApp.
This change wouldn’t be immediate, but a Facebook spokesperson told Engadget that “ads in Status remains a long-term opportunity for WhatsApp“, which all but confirms that the company is at least still toying with the idea. The original report says that ads will come to WhatsApp once Facebook finishes unifying all of its messaging infrastructure, which could still take years down the road. So, while WhatsApp ads might eventually come, there is nothing you should be afraid of, right now at least. WhatsApp has recently added other features, however, such as 8-person video calls to tide you over during quarantine time.
Source: TheInformation (paywall)