Facebook has canceled its plan to sell ads through the WhatsApp messaging application and in recent months the company has dissolved the team of workers who were in charge of this project, as reported by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
The company led by Mark Zuckerberg now seeks to focus on new tools for companies, which will allow greater monetization. Facebook announced in 2018 its intention to introduce ads in the messaging service to increase monetization in functions such as Stories (similar to Instagram stories), replacing the previous annual subscription payment model and maintaining its free character. At that time, Chris Daniels, WhatsApp VP, said that advertising would be “the main mode of monetization for the company, as well as an opportunity for companies to reach their customers on WhatsApp.”
Now, the progress that the company had for months has been removed from the application code, despite the fact that in May 2019 it had carried out the first tests in US, with ads similar to those present on Instagram. The company maintains its plans to introduce the ads in the WhatsApp Stories at some point, but will focus on developing functions so that companies can interact with consumers as a method of monetization on WhatsApp Business.
The monetization plan led by Facebook, caused the two founders of the app, Brian Acton and Jan Koum, to resign, both during 2018. The application was founded in 2009 and currently has more than 1.5 billion users worldwide.