Facebook may have ditched controversial WhatsApp ads plan

Brittany A. Roston - Jan 16, 2020, 6:36 pm CST
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Facebook may have ditched controversial WhatsApp ads plan

Facebook as ditched plans to fill WhatsApp with advertisements, according to a new report, instead choosing to focus on paid features designed for companies. The sources behind the leak claim that Facebook has gone so far as to scrub the code from WhatsApp that would have been used to implement the advertisements. This doesn’t, however, mean that Facebook will never bring ads into WhatsApp.

Facebook paid a massive $22 billion for WhatsApp, after which point it made the app totally free to download and use. The service remains very popular outside of the US, maintaining around 1.5 billion users across the globe. In 2018, Facebook revealed plans to use advertisements to monetize the service.

This plan was controversial among users and WhatsApp’s creators alike; the latter duo updated the app’s terms of service in 2016 to ban ads from the service, meaning Facebook would have to change that and notify all of its users about the change. Thus far, the advertisements haven’t arrived and, at least according to The Wall Street Journal, they may not appear any time soon.

The report claims that Facebook has ditched its plan to sell ads in WhatsApp, something that reportedly included the disbanding of the team that was tasked with integrating the ads. As well, the sources allege that Facebook has deleted the WhatsApp code that had been developed by this team, officially putting the entire plan on ice.

Facebook will reportedly focus on ‘building out money-making features’ that are designed for companies. However, the sources claim that the company still plans to introduce advertisements in the WhatsApp Status feature at some point in the future, though it remains unclear when that may happen.


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