For all those who were worried WhatsApp would be marred by ads, you can heave a sigh of relief because Facebook seems to have scrapped its plans to introduce ads as part of a feature on its popular messaging app.
WhatsApp will not have ads, for now
According to The Wall Street Journal, the team that was working on the upcoming feature was disbanded and its work was subsequently removed from WhatsApp's code. This decision will be welcomed by WhatsApp users who dreaded the idea of having to be interrupted by unwanted ads on the platform.
Ever since its inception, WhatsApp has served as the best replacement for the SMS service and it not only made texting fast, but also became one of the most sought after apps within a very short period, with more than 1.5 billion active users around the world. However, WSJ noted that although Facebook has decided not to run ads on its messaging platform, the decision is only temporary and the company still plans to introduce ads, but at a much later date in the future.
Decision taken in the wake of user outrage?
Earlier this month, the International Business Times reported that Facebook had plans to start running ads under the WhatsApp "Status" section on the platform. The Status ads would run similar to how ads are shown while browsing through the "Stories" section on Instagram.
The advertisements would be shown to users when they view their friends, co-workers, family members' or acquaintances' status updates on WhatsApp, which contain images, videos, and text messages and disappear after 24 hours.
Shortly after news of WhatsApp's plans to introduce ads emerged, several users took to social media to express their anger over the company's decision. "The day I start seeing ads on WhatsApp best believe I'm deleting the app," wrote one user on Twitter, while another wrote, "I'm sure half the users will switch over to Telegram."
However, users weren't the only one unhappy with Facebook's idea. In 2017, WhatsApp founders Acton and Koum resigned owing to their differences with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over his decision to monetize the messaging app by introducing ads.
The app was founded in 2009 and initially charged users download fees and subscription fees of $0.99. However, Facebook made it free when it acquired the company in 2018. In the same year, they came up with the idea of monetizing the app by selling ads.