WhatsApp boss refutes reports saying the app will “explore in-chat ads”

September 15, 2023

WhatsApp boss Will Cathcart has denied reports that the app is considering displaying ads in chats.

The Financial Times reported that Meta, WhatsApp’s parent company, is exploring ways to monetize the world’s most popular messaging service. One option being considered is to show ads in lists of conversations with contacts on the WhatsApp chat screen.

“Teams at Meta have been discussing whether to show ads in lists of conversations with contacts on the WhatsApp chat screen, but no final decisions have been made, according to three people familiar with the matter,” the report reads.

However, Cathcart took to Twitter on Friday to refute the report, saying: “This @FT story is false. We aren’t doing this.”

WhatsApp has long been ad-free, but Meta has been under pressure to find new ways to generate revenue. The company’s advertising business took a hit during a period of macroeconomic uncertainty, and investors are concerned about its multibillion-dollar bet on virtual reality and the “metaverse”.

In July, Meta reported its first double-digit revenue growth since 2021, but the vast majority of that revenue came from advertising on Facebook and Instagram.

Not too long ago, the popular messaging app rolled out channels, and is now available in at least 150 countries.

WhatsApp for mobile is available on Android, iOS, and KaiOS. 

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