Facebook Is Temporarily Shelving Its Plans To Include Ads In Its WhatsApp Messaging Service As Mark Zuckerberg Feared Backlash

  • WhatsApp was supposed to start displaying ads at the start of the year 2020.
  • The company was working on a plan for more than a year to shove ads into the WhatsApp messaging service to generate revenue every year.
  • WhatsApp will not be displaying ads for the time being as Mark Zuckerberg feared backlash from its users.

Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp was supposed to start displaying ads by the start of this year but the latest reports revealed that Facebook has temporarily shelved its plans to shove ads into the WhatsApp messaging service. The report was published by The Information. According to the report, it seems that Mark Zuckerberg has temporarily changed his mind on featuring ads on WhatsApp, and WhatsApp will remain ad-free for the time being.

Mark Zuckerberg made this decision keeping in view the backlash Facebook would receive if the company start displaying ads on its WhatsApp messaging service. The decision makes sense as the users did not seem to be happy with the advertisements to be featured on WhatsApp.

According to the report published by The Information, the company was preparing for more than a year and was close to starting displaying ads on WhatsApp. The plan would have helped Facebook to generate billions of dollars every year from WhatsApp. Facebook bought WhatsApp six years ago for $22 billion. The statement seems to be very ambitious but we should just have a look at Instagram before taking this news seriously. Instagram had no ads before it was acquired by Facebook but now it has changed drastically. Now, it seems like every other post in everyone’s feed features a sponsored ad but Instagram’s integration of advertising is much diverse. We are not sure how Facebook is going to handle advertisements for its WhatsApp messaging service.

The Information also stated in the report that last year, employees prepared to gather in Singapore for an internal sales meeting to discuss the details of the plan to start displaying ads on WhatsApp which was supposed to be rolled out in the year 2020. But Will Cathcart, the new head of WhatsApp cancelled the event after meeting Mark Zuckerberg, CEO at Facebook. Employees were told that the plan to implement advertisements on WhatsApp messaging service was shelved and those who had already booked flights for the sales meeting canceled their tours.

Report from The Information says that Mark Zuckerberg made this decision because shoving ads into WhatsApp will cause a backlash amongst WhatsApp users as no one would like to be interrupted due to an ad while chatting. WhatsApp has more than 2 billion users across the globe and the company feared that angering such a huge user base will not be good for Facebook’s well-being as a whole.

Currently, we know that Facebook is temporarily delaying its plan to feature advertisements on WhatsApp, and the company still expects to ultimately introduce ads into WhatsApp but we are not sure how long the company is going to keep this decision on a leash.

Photo: NurPhoto via Getty Images

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