Good news! Facebook is dropping its plans to show ads on its popular messaging service WhatsApp. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, WhatsApp disbanded the team working on integrating ads on to the platform recently; even the code related to the project was deleted from the app.
When Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion, Mark Zuckerberg said the company won’t push to introduce ads in the chat app. In 2016, the social media giant began sharing some user data from WhatsApp to Facebook for better ad targeting. It also planned to introduce ads in the platform — one of the major reasons why WhatsApp‘s co-founder, Jan Koum, left the company in 2018.
The chat app’s founders always disliked ads; the other co-founder, Brian Action, told Forbes in 2014, “You don’t make anyone’s life better by making advertisements work better.”
The Journal’s report noted while Facebook won’t introduce ads in the core WhatsApp experience, it still plans to show some in the app’s Status feature.
In 2016, WhatsApp dropped its annual fee of 99 cents and made the app free. Since then, the company has been trying to explore new ways to earn moolah. It has been experimenting with a payments platform in India — a market where it has more than 400 million users.
It also has the WhatsApp Business platform, which allows businesses to connect with their customers more efficiently. It charges a small fee per message to facilitate this conversation.
There’s no figure available on how much WhatsApp earns in revenues worldwide. But a filing with Indian authorities shows that the company earned Rs. 6.84 crores (~$1 million) in revenues for FY2019.