WhatsApp might still deploy ads on the platform alongside the app’s Instagram Stories-like Status feature, company head Will Cathcart recently said in an interview. As pointed out by TechCrunch, Cathcart stated that WhatsApp ads could show up in different places within the app, including the newer Channels feature and statuses, though no timeline was provided for the change.
In the Brazilian publication Folha De S.Paulo, the interviewer asked Cathcart if WhatsApp would continue to be free and without ads. Cathcart responded that WhatApp will not have ads within the inbox or in the “messaging experience.” Cathcart also added that Channels could charge people to subscribe, and the owners could promote ads for it within Channels.
The Meta-owned messaging app has looked for ways to plaster ads in the app starting as early as 2018, when the company (then known as Facebook) looked to put ads in the Status feature. However, in 2020, it seemed there was some internal fear about flipping the switch on ads and how privacy-focused users would react, so the delay continued, but plans for ads in the feature remained on the docket.