WhatsApp Head Teases Ads in Unexpected Places: No Invasion of the Inbox, Though!
The head honcho at WhatsApp spilled the beans that users might soon encounter ads in specific app zones. Will Cathcart, the top dog of WhatsApp, revealed in a recent interview with a Brazilian publication that ads won't infiltrate the main inbox or chats. However, he hinted at the possibility of encountering ads in other app sections. This revelation follows the company's debunking of reports just two months ago that claimed WhatsApp had intentions to monetize the service with user-targeted ads.
Speaking to Folha de S. Paulo in Brazilian, Cathcart clarified that the app's inbox and chat sanctuaries will remain ad-free. He explained that while ads could venture into channels or statuses, such spaces might involve subscription charges, exclusivity for paid members, or promotional efforts by channel owners. The executive categorically stated that the inbox would remain ad-exempt.
The company has yet to spill the beans on when ads will infiltrate the Status or Channels sections. The disclosure of potential ads in specific app zones follows Cathcart's September denial of plans to display ads in the default view of user conversations.
In the ever-evolving world of WhatsApp, reports surfaced in 2019 about potential ad additions via the Status feature, akin to Instagram and Facebook stories. Currently, WhatsApp gains its financial footing through business messaging features, catering to its colossal user base of over 2 billion, under the ownership of Meta.
An August 2020 report hinted at WhatsApp's plan to use phone numbers to link users' Facebook and WhatsApp accounts for targeted ads. This move was expected to materialize upon the completion of the unified messaging platforms—WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger.