June 16, 2024

A recent report by an online news outlet, Financial Times, implied that WhatsApp is about to violate its mantra of “no ads, no gimmicks, no games.” 

However, in response to the circulating report, WhatsApp maintained it has no plans to include adverts in the messaging app platform.

WhatsApp Refutes Financial Times Report 

Financial Times report stated that the teams at Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp, discussed the possibilities of showing adverts in WhatsApp. The discussion emerged as Meta considered ways to boost its revenue generation. 

The report revealed that three individuals with good knowledge of the matter disclosed the company’s internal conversation but shared that Meta has not concluded it yet.

Introducing adverts on WhatsApp caused internal controversy as some expressed concerns that users would feel alienated. When incorporated into the messaging app, the ads feature will make WhatsApp display ads between users’ chats with relatives, colleagues, and friends.

Again, one of the individuals with knowledge of the internal conversation shared that ads showing on WhatsApp will make its interface look like the adverts displayed on Facebook Messenger and Google’s Gmail.

Also, some executives at Meta expressed worries about showing adverts on WhatsApp, stating that it would degrade user experience. Secondly, the Financial Times reported that two people disclosed that Meta deliberated whether to add a subscription service to the WhatsApp ads-free app.

However, a group of senior executives at Meta noted that users could be forced to leave the messaging platform for others that are free.  In response to the FT report, WhatsApp head Will Cathcart debunked the news today, September 15, 2023, stating that WhatsApp is not exploring ways to show users ads. 

Cathcart denied the report via the X platform within a few minutes after the news was published. The executive claimed that WhatsApp had no intention of doing that, announcing that the story was a lie.

But, according to Financial Times, WhatsApp did not argue about the matter being discussed among members prior to the publication of the first version of the story. But only said it would not account for all individual conversations within the messaging company.

As the report on Meta’s internal discussion surfaced, some members of the WhatsApp community shared their own opinions.

King George Jr., with X identity @Zeusposeidon227, opined that the messaging platform would be better without adverts as the inclusion would annoy and distract users during chatting.

TS, another community member on the X platform, urged the company not to include ads on WhatsApp, stating that the messaging app is amazing the way it is currently.

The community might have reacted in this manner based on the idea behind WhatsApp creation before it was acquired by the co-founder of Meta Platforms, Mark Zuckerberg, in 2014.

Notably, the messaging app co-founder Brian Action had repeatedly promoted the app as a platform without games, adverts, and gimmicks. So, the alleged discussion or the idea of adding ads negates the attractive point of the platform, leading to massive. 

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