WhatsApp has been reportedly considering the introduction of advertisements within its app, a potential shift in strategy that raised questions and discussions within parent company Meta Platforms Inc. META as they seek to generate revenue from the widely-used messaging service.
What Happened: with its 2.23 billion monthly active users, WhatsApp stands as one of the most popular messaging platforms globally. However, it has maintained a firm stance against displaying ads within its interface since its inception.
Now, it appears the company might be exploring the possibility of breaking with this longstanding tradition.
While no final decisions have been made, Meta has been considering the display of advertisements in WhatsApp’s chat screen, which would appear alongside lists of conversations with contacts, reported Financial Times, citing three people familiar with the matter.
The proposed ad format would resemble the advertising integration found in Facebook Messenger, where ads appear adjacent to the main chat interface but not within the conversation threads themselves.
There’s also speculation about whether WhatsApp may introduce a subscription fee option to offer an ad-free experience.
Both ideas have sparked internal debates, with concerns over potential user alienation and migration to alternative ad-free messaging apps, the report noted.
Why It’s Important: Meta has been working to bolster its advertising revenue, particularly in the wake of concerns over its investments in virtual reality and the “metaverse.” Earlier this month, it was reported that Meta is contemplating introducing paid versions for Facebook and Instagram for users within the EU.
Although details concerning subscription pricing and the exact release schedule remain undisclosed, the approach closely mirrors Elon Musk’s social media platform, X’s introduction of X Premium, previously known as Twitter Blue.
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