Meta Denies Plans to Insert In-Feed Ads into WhatsApp Amidst Accusations
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Meta Denies Plans to Insert In-Feed Ads into WhatsApp Amidst Accusations

Meta Faces Accusations of WhatsApp Ad Intrusion, But Denies Rumors and Focuses on Alternative Monetization Strategies

Meta has issued a statement denying allegations that it was planning to introduce in-feed ads on WhatsApp. The Financial Times reported that several teams at Meta had been exploring the possibility of displaying ads within conversation lists with contacts on WhatsApp’s home screen. However, in response, Meta refuted the claims, stating that it had not been working on or testing such features and had no plans to implement them.

This isn’t the first time Meta has faced accusations of attempting to monetize its two-billion-strong user base on WhatsApp. Analysts have long speculated about such a pivot, drawing parallels with Meta’s other acquisition, Instagram, which has featured ads in users’ feeds for years.

In the past, Meta did have plans to introduce ads on WhatsApp. In 2018 and 2019, reports emerged that Meta was planning to display ads in WhatsApp’s Status feature. However, the Wall Street Journal later reported that Meta was reconsidering these ad plans and seeking alternative monetization strategies.

Meta has found success in generating revenue through WhatsApp Business, offering services and tools to its 200+ million active users. During the Q3 2022 earnings call, “click-to-WhatsApp” ads achieved an annual revenue run rate of $1.5 billion with 80% year-on-year growth. In addition to its pricing structure and messaging category updates, Meta has plans to monetize WhatsApp Business further by enabling businesses to send personalized messages on Facebook and Instagram via the app. They also plan to integrate payments into the newly launched global Channels feature.

In summary, WhatsApp is already proving to be a lucrative platform for Meta, and the company has sustainable plans to generate revenue from it without compromising the user experience with intrusive ads.