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Facebook shelves controversial plan to show ads in WhatsApp

Arhama AltafWeb Editor

19th Jan, 2020. 09:48 am
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Facebook WhatsApp

Facebook has abandoned plans to sell ads in WhatsApp, a controversial plan that forced Brian Acton and Jan Koum, WhatsApp co-founders, to quit nearly two years ago.

WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $19bn.

WhatsApp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton publicly expressed an aversion to allowing ads on the service.

In a blog post following the acquisition, Koum wrote that “the deal would not have happened if WhatsApp had to compromise on the core principles that will always define our company, our vision and our product”.

In 2016, they changed WhatsApp’s terms of service to forbid displaying ads in the app. Both have since left the company.

Acton left in September 2017 and Koum in May 2018 in the midst of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

According to reports, WhatsApp disbanded a team that had assembled to look at how best to integrate ads into the platform.

Code they had written in support of the initiative has deleted.

WhatsApp currently boasts 1.5bn users, Facebook has still not worked out how to make money from it.

It has scrapped the $0.99 annual subscription fee that was in place prior to its acquisition of the company.

WhatsApp co-founder Acton and CEO Jan Koum left the company over their differences with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg aimed to monetize WhatsApp by introducing ads between chats.

Earlier in an interview, Brian Acton explained that a disagreement on monetizing WhatsApp, the reason he quit Facebook.

He also gave up $850 million on the table.

He alleged that Zuckerberg was in a rush to make money from the messaging service and undermine elements of its encryption technology.

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