WhatsApp had a bit of a mixed business model at the start. The company had initially charged users an annual subscription fee, but they later removed it, and ever since then, the app has been free to use. When Facebook acquired it, there was no doubt that the company planned to monetize the app, but how exactly would they do that?
Last year WhatsApp had confirmed that they would be inserting ads into Status updates, similar to Instagram’s Stories, but now according to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Facebook is abandoning those plans. The report claims that Facebook’s zeal to monetize WhatsApp was what led the founders of the app to resign from the company.
The report goes on to state that Facebook also established a team to look into ways to monetize the app, but that team has since been disbanded, with the work that they’ve done so far deleted from WhatsApp’s code.
This means that at least for now, Facebook will not be introducing ads to WhatsApp, but with such a massive active user base, it would be foolish for us to think that Facebook will not be revisiting this in the future. However, when or how they plan to approach the matter remains to be seen, but for now, WhatsApp appears to be remaining ad-free.