Facebook’s plans to show ads on WhatsApp have been halted for now. The company has put a stop to all ongoing work on injecting ads to its messaging app, WhatsApp, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.
Facebook confirmed last year it will start showing ads on the ‘Status’ section of WhatsApp in 2020. This is similar to what Facebook does on Instagram Stories which shows multiple ads. This was also considered as the primary form of monetization on WhatsApp which has so far remained a private messaging app.
According to the WSJ report, WhatsApp has already disbanded the team which was working on ad integrations. WhatsApp has also deleted this team’s work from the app’s code. Facebook hasn’t completely shunned the idea of introducing ads on WhatsApp and the plan is still in the company’s pipeline.
For now, WhatsApp is said to focus on “building out money-making features allowing businesses to communicate with customers and better manage those interactions.”
Facebook’s plans for introducing ads on WhatsApp have been regarded controversial from the get-go. With the integration of ads on WhatsApp, the app doesn’t really remain ‘private’ anymore and eventually affect its end-to-end encryption. This decision by Facebook also played a part in the departure of WhatsApp’s founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton.
WhatsApp is possibly the most popular and widely-used messaging app globally with 1.5 billion active users. Its Instagram Stories-like WhatsApp Status feature also has 500 million daily active users. Ads on WhatsApp were expected to roll out this year but it looks like users won’t be seeing them anytime soon.