WhatsApp Backs Off Controversial Plan to Sell Ads

Date : 01/16/2020 @ 9:18PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Facebook Inc (FB)
Quote : 189.75  -7.45 (-3.78%) @ 12:59AM
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WhatsApp Backs Off Controversial Plan to Sell Ads

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)
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By Jeff Horwitz and Kirsten Grind 

Facebook Inc. is backing away from efforts to sell ads in WhatsApp, marking 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.

WhatsApp in recent months disbanded a team that had been established to find the best ways to integrate ads into the service, according to people familiar with the matter. The team's work was then deleted from WhatsApp's code, the people said.

The shift marks a setback in the social-media giant's quest to monetize WhatsApp, which it bought in a blockbuster $22 billion acquisition in 2014 that has yet to pay financial dividends despite the service being used by more than 1.5 billion people globally.

The company eventually plans to introduce ads into its Status feature -- an ephemeral posting feature similar to Instagram's Stories -- but for now the focus is on features allowing businesses to communicate with customers and organize those contacts, said one person familiar with the matter.


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 16, 2020 16:03 ET (21:03 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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