The social app giant has paused its plans to put ads in WhatsApp and has disbanded the team experimenting with WhatsApp ads
Facebook has paused its plans to put ads in WhatsApp. The social network has disbanded the team experimenting with WhatsApp ads.
Ever since Facebook bought WhatsApp for $22 billion in 2014, users have been worrying about how the tech giant was going to monetise its expensive acquisition, mainly fearing that it would fill the popular messaging app with ads.
Facebook had been looking at placing ads in the WhatsApp status section and had previously said it was going to roll out the new look in 2020.
But, Facebook has disbanded the team that was exploring ways to integrate ads into WhatsApp according to the Wall Street Journal. All the team’s work has been deleted from the app’s code.
For now, ads will remain a long-term opportunity but not be subject to a specific timeline, a spokesperson told Business Insider.
Instead, the social media company has said it’s going to focus on building other features that could potentially lead to monetisation, such as allowing businesses to communicate with customers in the app and provide payment services to other countries. These are similar to the way China’s uber-popular app WeChat works, a central platform in which consumers do all their communicating whether that’s with brands or their friends.
This may be good news for WhatsApp’s founders. The co-founders Brian Actor and Jan Koum had long been critical of ads, with Acton telling Forbes that he resigned from Facebook in protest against its policy to place advertising in the app.
In addition, the plans weren’t very popular with WhatsApp’s 300 million daily users. According to research by marketing tech company Pure360, only five per cent of Brits would have been open to receiving marketing messages from brands. In particular, the respondents thought marketing messages would distract them during working hours.
Facebook appears to be making other changes to its messaging strategy. Also this week, the company has finally brought Instagram direct messaging access to the web.
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