“When advertising is involved you the user are the product,” reads the official WhatsApp blog post titled ‘Why we don’t sell ads’. The post dates back to June 18, 2012, and if only the title was – why they won’t sell adverts.
Things changed with Facebook owning the instant messaging app, which turned sth on its head. The company which is infamous for its play and ploy with privacy revealed its plan to inject ads via WhatsApp. At the Facebook Marketing Summit (FMC) 2019, the goliath announced WhatsApp Status ads. It said the ads will show the name of their respective advertiser.
But, now a fresh report from The Wall Street Journal claims Facebook is backing out from this move. Apparently, the company has disbanded the team which was working on the WhatsApp ads. Furthermore, it states that even the team’s work to date has been deleted from the WhatsApp code.
WSJ reports that Facebook efforts are “now on ice”, meaning they are put on hold. Now whether that’s indefinite and in entirety is still unclear. It also appends that Facebook “plans at some point to introduce ads to Status.” So, there’s that.
After all, WhatsApp could be a lucrative platform for Facebook clearly in dint of a whopping 1.5 billion users globally. If you take the case of just India, there are around 400 million users in India, making ours the biggest market for WhatsApp. Still and all, it remains unprofitable year after year. So, it’s a no-brainer why Facebook would try to milk it using any form of monetization efforts, if not status ads.