A report from the Financial Times claimed that WhatsApp is planning to explore ads to boost revenue, but this was quickly denied by the head of WhatsApp at Meta, Will Cathcart.
Cathcart confirmed that the story is false and that WhatsApp has no plans of exploring ads.
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
This isn’t the first time we have seen claims of WhatsApp looking to introduce ads to its platforms. This speculation has been ongoing even before WhatsApp was acquired by Meta back in 2014.
The report from Financial Times said that the WhatsApp team at Meta was thinking of showing ads on the main chat screen alongside all the contact names, but hadn’t finalized the decision.
Meta was also reportedly considering a subscription fee for using the app without ads, citing people familiar with the matter in the report.
Even if WhatsApp did so, it wouldn’t come as a surprise with so many companies being forced into exploring more revenue-generating measures amid the ongoing global economic downturn.
The application is perceived by certain analysts as an unexplored avenue for growth, even several years after Meta’s monumental $19 billion acquisition of the platform in 2014, marking its largest deal to date.
WhatsApp boasts over 2 billion monthly active users, as reported by financial data firm Visible Alpha. However, the majority of its earnings are derived from its platform designed for small and medium-sized enterprises, with approximately 200 million users utilizing it every month.
Meta has not disclosed WhatsApp’s exact revenue figures, but Visible Alpha estimates that the messaging service generated $1.06 billion in sales in the last quarter. This amount accounts for a mere 3% of the social media company’s overall revenue.