Meta on Friday disputed a media report that claimed the social giant was exploring bringing ads on the popular messaging app WhatsApp.
Financial Times reported that some teams at Meta had evaluated whether to show ads in lists of conversations with contacts on the WhatsApp home screen. In a statement, WhatsApp said it was neither testing or working on it, nor did it have any plans around it.
Analysts have long speculated that Meta will eventually bring ads on WhatsApp as the social conglomerate explores ways to monetize the service, which is used daily by over 2 billion people around the globe. Instagram, Meta’s relatively much cheaper acquisition, has made deeper inroads with monetization.
But Meta has so far resisted the idea of showing ads on the WhatsApp app, instead relying on making money via WhatsApp Business, an offering aimed at merchants that requires them to pay for certain services. WhatsApp Business has amassed over 200 million monthly active users.
“With WhatsApp Business users reaching 200M MAU, and GenAI customer service tools being tested out, Meta appears to be taking steps towards monetizing the 2Bn+ active users on WhatsApp. Click to Message is already running at a 10B+ revenue run rate while training both the users and businesses to interact within WhatsApp,” analysts at AllianceBernstein wrote in a recent note to clients.