Rumor: Facebook won’t put ads in WhatsApp after all

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According to a new rumor, Facebook has decided not to put ads in WhatsApp after all. The company wanted to monetize the chat service with the ads, but has now decided, according to The Wall Street Journal, to monetize by offering services to businesses via the chat app.

Facebook has disbanded a team working on the integration of ads into WhatsApp, WSJ reports. The company’s plan was to run ads in the chat app’s Status feature, but that plan is now off. WSJ doesn’t say exactly why Facebook would have decided not to push through the feature. The newspaper does claim that the introduction of the function would require a ‘formal notification to users’ and the company may have been afraid of the consequences.

Facebook has never been secretive about the plan, which prompted WhatsApp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton to leave the company. The then CEO for WhatsApp announced the ads in November 2018 and showed what the ads would look like last spring. The ads should have come this year.

The ads would be in Status, the WhatsApp equivalent of Stories from Snapchat and Instagram. It would be full-screen advertisements such as those in those services. According to WSJ, Facebook now wants to focus on making money by providing services to businesses when communicating with customers via WhatsApp. Facebook has not responded to the article.

An ad in WhatsApp (right). Source: Olivier Ponteville

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