Social media platform WhatsApp has denied reports suggesting the company is exploring advertisements in its chat app in order to boost revenue. The development comes hours after a media report said the teams at Meta are reportedly holding discussions about showing ads in the lists of conversations on the WhatsApp chat screen. The report, however, said the final decision regarding this has not been taken yet.
Hours after the report, WhatsApp head Will Cathcart refuted the claims. "This @FT story is false. We aren’t doing this," Cathcart wrote in a post on X (previously Twitter).
A WhatsApp spokesperson says, "We can't account for every conversation someone had in our company but we are not testing this, working on it and it’s not our plan at all."
Over the past few quarters, Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook, has been focusing on improving its ad revenue. In the second quarter of CY23, the company clocked an 11% year-on-year (YoY) increase in revenue to $32 billion from $28.82 billion, mainly on account of a stellar growth in its ad sales. During the quarter under review, the company’s ad revenue stood at $31.49 billion against $28.15 billion in the same period last year.
"We had a good quarter. We continue to see strong engagement across our apps and we have the most exciting roadmap I’ve seen in a while with Llama 2, Threads, Reels, new AI products in the pipeline, and the launch of Quest 3 this fall," said Mark Zuckerberg, meta founder and CEO.
Earlier this week, just like Telegram and Instagram, the social messaging platform launched the Channel feature in India. The feature has been made available beginning September 14. According to the Mark Zuckerberg-led company, WhatsApp Channels are a private way for people to receive updates that matter to them.
Channels are a one-way broadcast tool for admins to send text, photos, videos, stickers, and polls. Channels can be found in a new tab called Updates on WhatsApp – where users will find the Status and Channels they follow – separate from chats with family, friends, and communities.
"Our goal is to build the most private broadcast service available. This starts by protecting the personal information of both admins and followers. Following a channel won't reveal your phone number to the admin or other followers. Who you decide to follow is your choice and it’s private," the Meta-owned platform said.