We have woken up to one of the most shocking news of the year. WhatsApp, the world’s most used messaging app, could show us ads while we are chatting with our mother.
The information has been leaked by the Financial Times. In that news, the American newspaper claims that WhatsApp is exploring a new feature that would display ads in the app for the first time in its history.
A move that would have caused controversy within Mark Zuckerberg’s company, as Meta, the parent company, seeks to monetize the world’s most popular messaging service.
WhatsApp isn’t sure about it… but they want to try
Meta’s teams have been debating whether to show ads in the conversation lists with contacts on the WhatsApp chat screen, but the final decision has not been made. However, the concept has been discussed at a high level within the company, the newspaper explains.
Two of the sources said that Meta is also deliberating whether to charge a subscription fee to use the app without ads, but many people within the company are against the move.
Before WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook for $19 billion in 2014, its co-founder, Brian Action, campaigned for the app with the message: “No ads! No games! No gimmicks.”
And now WhatsApp publicly denies it
The head of WhatsApp has denied the Financial Times report today, Friday, which claimed that the messaging platform owned by Meta was exploring advertising as it seeks to boost revenues.
“This @FT story is false. We are not doing this,” says WhatsApp boss Will Cathcart in a post on X, the social network formerly known as Twitter.
Even though you may not remember, the app’s origin was paid
If you have a few years under your belt, you’ll remember that a decade ago, WhatsApp attempted to charge a symbolic annual fee to all its users. While millions of people had to pay, the vast majority of users didn’t, as the company ultimately decided to withdraw the measure.
Not only that, but for iOS, the app was classified as a paid app from the very beginning, as users had to pay 0.89 euros (0.79 at the time of launch) to download it.
However, on other platforms like Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, and Nokia, the download was free.