WhatsApp head Will Cathcart says the chat app could introduce ads in Status

WhatsApp’s cat-and-mouse game with ads continues. While the company is not planning to show ads in the main inbox, it could still show ads in Status — the app’s Stories-like feature — and channels.

In an interview with Brazilian media, WhatsApp’s head Will Cathcart said the company is not planning to show any ads in the main inbox, but could show ads in other places.

In September, Cathcart categorically denied a report from Financial Times saying that the Meta-owned chat app plans to show ads. Talking to Brazilian media, he said that showing ads in the inbox is not the right model.

“The reason I qualified [sic] 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,” Cathcart said.

WhatsApp had talked about putting ads in Status a few years ago, but the company never rolled it out. Though Cathcart brought it up as a possibility, nothing has yet rolled out. A Meta spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch it’s not currently testing Status ads in any country. However, the company didn’t provide a statement on the matter.

Earlier this year, when WhatsApp launched its broadcast feature Channels in June, the company said it was exploring tools like promotion in the Channels directory. Meta hasn’t provided any details about when or if it plans to launch ads in either product, Status or Channels.

Until now, WhatsApp, which is used by more than 2 billion people across the world, has relied on its business messaging and click-to-WhatsApp ads on other platforms like Facebook for revenue.

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