WhatsApp’s Head, Will Cathcart, Open To Introducing Ads In Status


In a recent interview with Brazilian media, WhatsApp’s head, Will Cathcart, addressed the possibility of introducing ads in the popular chat app. While dismissing the idea of showing ads in the main inbox, Cathcart stated that ads could potentially appear in other areas such as Status, the app’s Stories-like feature, and channels.

Key Takeaway

WhatsApp’s head, Will Cathcart, has clarified that while the app has no plans to introduce ads in the main inbox, there is a possibility of ads being featured in Status and channels. WhatsApp has yet to implement any such ads, and no tests are currently being conducted. The chat app continues to rely on business messaging and click-to-WhatsApp ads on other platforms for revenue.

“The reason I qualified the answer is that there could be ads in other places—channels or status. For example, channels might charge people to subscribe, they might be exclusive to paid members or the owners might want to promote the channel. But, no, we won’t put ads in your inbox,” explained Cathcart, emphasizing that the main inbox will remain ad-free.

Status and Channel Ads: A Possibility, but No Implementation Yet

This is not the first time that ads in Status have been mentioned. Although WhatsApp had discussed the possibility of putting ads in Status a few years ago, the feature was never rolled out. While Cathcart did mention it as a potential avenue for ads, there has been no confirmation of any concrete plans or testing related to Status ads. A Meta spokesperson did confirm that there are currently no tests being conducted in any country.

Additionally, when WhatsApp launched its broadcast feature Channels earlier this year, the company indicated an interest in exploring promotional tools within the Channels directory. However, Meta has not provided any specific details regarding when or if ads will eventually be introduced in either Status or Channels.

WhatsApp’s Revenue Sources

Up to this point, WhatsApp has relied on its business messaging services and click-to-WhatsApp ads on platforms like Facebook for generating revenue. With over 2 billion users worldwide, the chat app has opted for a different approach to monetization, steering clear of ads in the main inbox and keeping the focus on improving user experience.

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