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Facebook abandons plan to sell ads in WhatsApp

2020-01-16 19:14 by
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Facebook Inc. is backing away from efforts to sell ads in WhatsApp, in a retreat from a controversial plan that drove the creators of the popular messaging service to resign more than 18 months ago, according to people familiar with the matter.

In recent months, WhatsApp dissolved a team dedicated to figuring out how to best integrate ads into the platform, people familiar with the matter told the Journal. That team's work was reportedly removed from WhatsApp's code.

The move is a surprising about face in Facebook's efforts to monetize its various products, particularly one of its most popular services. Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $22 billion in 2014, and has since been searching for ways to monetize the company's 1.5 billion userbase.

But now, WhatsApp will focus on building features that let businesses communicate with customers in the app, as well as providing payments services to other countries, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider. Ads will remain a long-term opportunity but will not be subject to a specific timeline, the spokesperson said.

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