Facebook had plans to run ads on WhatsApp before acquisition—Brian Acton

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Credit: https://web.whatsapp.com/

Facts have emerged that Facebook had plans to sell ads on messaging app WhatsApp before acquisition four years ago. Brian Acton, one of the co-founder of WhatsApp left his position at Facebook in 2017 protesting the changes made by Facebook to the messaging app.

WhatsApp had no intention of selling ads when it was founded in 2009. It was an idea loathed by Brian Acton and Jan Koum—it was not there own idea of earning money.

Affirming the plans of the co-founders of the app upon acquisition in 2014, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said the company had no plans to monetize the app at the time. However, things began to take a different shape when in May 2018 The EU Commission fined Facebook $122 million for providing “misleading information about WhatsApp” acquisition. The EU made this announcement known in a press release following conclusion of its investigations on the matter.

In providing “misleading information about WhatsApp” acquisition. The EU made this announcement known today in a press release following conclusion of its investigations on the matter.

According to Acton, Facebook had all along planned to share data between platforms. One of many of such plans according to Acton, was to bridge Facebook and WhatsApp accounts of 128-but string which denotes a user’s phone number. According to Acton per TNW, another of such plans was to match phone numbers across platforms to link two accounts.

WhatsApp, one of Facebook’s biggest acquisitions till date recently added three new ways for customers to connect with businesses. There is a shortcut button to allow to initiate a quick conversation, a tool to allow businesses send you information, and a real-time support.

Facebook will start displaying ads of businesses that link to WhatsApp. Businesses will by this arrangement be able to buy ads that lead directly to chats that are already loaded with business on WhatsApp. Furthermore, businesses can respond to customers without paying a dime as long as this happens within 24 hours, while charges will be incurred if it exceeds the grace period.

Responding to questions shortly after Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said his company wasn’t thinking of monetizing or selling ads to businesses. The company said ads were not part of his plan at the time, at least not until the user base clocks 2-3 billion people; but it seems we are fast approaching that time or it is actually before us. “Our strategy is to grow and connect people. Once we get to 2-3 billion people there are ways we can monetize. Now we want to focus on growing users. I don’t think ads are the right way here.”

Early signs of Facebook’s plans to start monetizing the messaging app became glaring about a year ago when it placed ads for some key positions.

The job for the position of a lead product development was one of three positions the company announced at the time, and this gave us a clear picture of WhatsApp’s plans.

Reliable tech writer and blogger WABetaInfo posted a tweet on Thursday saying that WhatsApp “is already working to implement ads in iOS app.


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Author: Ola Ric

Ola Ric is a professional tech writer. He has written and provided tons of published articles for professionals and private individuals. He is also a social commentator and analyst, with relevant experience in the use of social media services.

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