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Facebook imposes controversial plan to display advertisements in WhatsApp after founders STOP the proposal

Facebook has reconsidered its controversial plans to introduce ads to WhatApp less than two years after the app’s founders stopped the proposal.

WhatsApp has dissolved the team that was established to start integrating ads into the chat platform, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Even the code developed to integrate advertisements into the messaging platform has been removed, the report said, citing “people familiar with the issue.”

Facebook’s controversial plan to sell ads on WhatsApp played an important role in the departure of WhatsApp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton since 2017.

Facebook purchased WhatsApp in 2014 for around $ 19 billion.

These appear in the WhatsApp 'Status' function, which is similar to Stories on Instagram. The image shows the ads that go back to WhatsApp on Facebook (left), similar to Instagram ads (center) and the full Status ads page (right)

These appear in the WhatsApp ‘Status’ function, which is similar to Stories on Instagram. The image shows the ads that go back to WhatsApp on Facebook (left), similar to Instagram ads (center) and the full Status ads page (right)

The company puts the plans on ice and will instead focus on building more functions to earn money that businesses can use to communicate with customers – along the lines of WhatsApp Business, introduced in 2018, says the WSJ.

However, ads can still be displayed in the app’s status function, allowing users to share text, photos, videos, and animated GIFs that disappear after 24 hours.

Facebook first announced plans to make money with WhatsApp in 2018.

At the time, Chris Daniels, then vice-president of WhatsApp, called ads a “primary way to generate revenue” for the company.

As part of the plans, promotional images would have appeared in the “Status” feature of WhatsApp, which is similar to Stories on Instagram, while companies could have communicated with customers through chat windows.

Facebook ads would also be linked to WhatsApp so that users can talk to brands directly via the messenger app, as well as via Facebook Messenger.

Matt Navarra, a social media consultant, tweeted the updates from the annual Facebook Marketing Summit.

The image of last year's Facebook Marketing Summit shows a 'Status advertisement' that is very similar to that in Stories on Instagram

The image of last year's Facebook Marketing Summit shows a 'Status advertisement' that is very similar to that in Stories on Instagram

The image of last year’s Facebook Marketing Summit shows a ‘Status advertisement’ that is very similar to that in Stories on Instagram

He wrote: “Soon to @Whatsapp – WhatsApp status (stories) to get ads in 2020.”

WhatsApp was created by Koum and Acton in 2009 and initially cost $ 0.99 per year to register – the costs were abolished after the acquisition in 2016.

Facebook has since been looking for ways to make money with it.

Ads – which make up a large part of Facebook’s income and plaster the social networking site of the same name – seemed the natural option.

Advertising represented around 98 percent of Facebook’s sales in the third quarter of 2019, although the company did not break down revenue per platform.

WhatsApp fought to keep advertisements away from the platform after it was taken over by Facebook in 2014

WhatsApp fought to keep advertisements away from the platform after it was taken over by Facebook in 2014

WhatsApp fought to keep advertisements away from the platform after it was taken over by Facebook in 2014

The founders of WhatsApp made their position in advertising clear in 2012.

“Remember that when it comes to advertising, you are the user of the product,” they said.

‘Advertising is not only the disruption of aesthetics, the insults to your intelligence and the interruption of your train of thought.

“When we sat down three years ago to start our own business together, we wanted to make something that wasn’t just an advertising clearance agency.”

After the acquisition in 2014, Koum reiterated the promise that WhatsApp would never introduce advertisements: ‘You can count on absolutely no ads that interrupt your communication.

“There would have been no partnership between our two companies if we had to compromise on the core principles that will always determine our company, our vision and our product.”

Koum and Acton then amended the terms of service from WhatsApp to explicitly ban ads on the platform in 2016 – indicating that the issue of revenue generation was caused by Facebook fairly soon after the acquisition.

However, Acton left the company in 2017 and Koum in 2018 after a fight over advertisements and user data.

“In the end I sold my company,” Acton later said Forbes. “I have sold the privacy of my users to a greater advantage. I made a choice and made a compromise. I live with that every day. ”

Since October last year, 1.6 billion users have had monthly access to WhatsApp, according to Statista.

Facebook estimates that on average 2.2 billion people use Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or Messenger every day.

WHO IS BRIAN ACTON AND WHAT DID IT DONE?

Brian Acton is the founder of WhatsApp that was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $ 19 billion (£ 11.4 billion) – the biggest deal in Facebook’s history.

According to Forbes, Acton had more than 20 percent of the shares in the company, making him worth about $ 3.8 billion (£ 2.7 billion).

Following Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp, Acton donated nearly $ 290 million (£ 206 million) to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

The foundation orders research and partners donors from non-profit organizations.

Acton is now believed to be worth $ 5.5 billion (£ 3.9 billion) and works at Signal Foundation, which he founded earlier this year.

The purpose of the non-profit organization is “to develop open source privacy technology that protects free speech and enables secure global communication.”

In 1996, Acton was the 44th employee hired by Yahoo as an infrastructure engineer.

The following nine years he worked at Yahoo and lost millions in the dot-com bubble in 2000.

According to his Twitter, he was rejected in 2009 for a job at Facebook and he also spent a year traveling.

In the same year he bought an iPhone and decided that the App Store – which was then only seven months old – would expand rapidly.

He and his colleague from Yahoo, Jan Koum, decided that they wanted to create something.

Koum allegedly came up with the name WhatsApp because it sounded like “what’s up?”

Just a week after he decided he wanted to make the app, he recorded WhatsApp in California.

Now the company is one of the largest mobile messaging apps with 1.3 billion active monthly users.

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