WhatsApp has a user base of over 2 billion people worldwide and analysts have predicted that it will eventually take advantage of this and monetize the service.
Tech giant Meta has dismissed claims that it is considering adding ads to its WhatsApp messaging app. This comes after the Financial Times reported that teams at Meta have been exploring the possibility of showing ads in lists of conversations with contacts on the WhatsApp chat screen. The report also claimed that the company was also considering introducing a paid, ad-free version of the app.
WhatsApp head Will Cathcart however, denied the claims in a post on the social media app X. The company has stated that it is not testing or working on WhatsApp ads nor does it have any plans to that effect.
This @FT story is false. We aren’t doing this.
Also it looks like you misspelled Brian’s name… https://t.co/Z47z9FC5yu
— Will Cathcart (@wcathcart) September 15, 2023
WhatsApp has a user base of over 2 billion people worldwide and analysts have predicted that it will eventually take advantage of this and monetize the service. Meta has not hinted that it was working on such a feature, instead drawing revenue from WhatsApp Business. The merchant-forward app has over 200 million active users per month. It allows users to pay for certain features and is currently testing an automated process of sending personalized messages to customers. Merchants would be able to send messages tailored to different customer groups. For example, a business could send a discount code to new customers.
“With WhatsApp Business users reaching 200M MAU, and GenAI customer service tools being tested out, Meta appears to be taking steps towards monetizing the 2Bn+ active users on WhatsApp. Click to Message is already running at a 10B+ revenue run rate while training both the users and businesses to interact within WhatsApp,” analysts at AllianceBernstein wrote in a recent note to clients.
Earlier this year, Meta made some changes to WhatsApp Business’ pricing structure looking to increase revenue gained from the app. The affected categories included utility, authentication, marketing, and user-initiated or service conversations.
During the company’s Q3 earnings call last year, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that “click-to-WhatsApp” ads hit the annual revenue run rate of $1.5 billion with 80% year-on-year growth. While the company may not be working on in-app ads, it is working on integrating payments into its newly launched “Channels” broadcasting feature.
Mercy Mutanya is a Tech enthusiast, Digital Marketer, Writer and IT Business Management Student.
She enjoys reading, writing, doing crosswords and binge-watching her favourite TV series.