Facebook has dropped the plan to sell ads in WhatsApp, as per a fresh report. The social media giant recently “disbanded” the team that was formed to explore the best ways to integrate ads into the popular messaging app WhatsApp. It is worth noting that Facebook’s decision to sell ads in the app drove WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum out of Facebook in the year 2018, as per reports.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the team’s work had already been completed, but was recently removed from WhatsApp’s code. This comes as a surprise as ever since its inception, Facebook has reportedly been finding ways to monetize WhatsApp, which was acquired in the year 2014 for about $22 billion. There are reports claiming that Facebook might still have plans to potentially bring ads to WhatsApp’s Status feature. At the moment, it is unknown as to when the social media giant could do that as the specific timeline for the move is unknown.
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To recall, last year in May, Facebook revealed that it will start adding adverts to WhatsApp‘s Status section in 2020. Since its inception, WhatsApp has remained an ad-free messenger app, but Facebook continues to explore ways to monetize the messaging platform. The move might force a lot of WhatsApp users to switch to other ad-free messaging apps in 2020. In November 2018, WaBetaInfo ran a poll on Twitter, seeking responses from users: “Will you continue to use WhatsApp after the activation of the Status Ads feature?”. The poll revealed that not all WhatsApp users are happy about this attempt being made by the company.
At Facebook Marketing Summit in the Netherlands, the company announced that it is bringing ads to WhatsApp. One will witness the name of the advertiser (with their associated advert) instead of a contact profile picture and name when you select a story. Users will be able to swipe up to visit the advertisement or associated link, just like they do with Instagram Stories.
So WhatsApp users will not witness ads if they don’t check status updates. Facebook was initially rumored to bring banner ads to WhatsApp. But this solution suggested the company is not planning any aggressive move there. WhatsApp currently has over 450 million users, and the company could earn big profits from this.