Facebook Inc has no plan to introduce adverts and monetise its recently-acquired WhatsApp messaging service, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
The Chief Executive is currently in India as part of a scheme to boost internet uptake, and said that he has no near-term plan to make money out of the hugely popular chat application.
Facebook finally closed its acquisition of WhatsApp this week, a move which is now reported to cost $22 billion, a rise of $3 billion on the original price tag thanks to the good performance of Facebook stocks in the past few months.
The move will certainly be welcome among users, who have recently witnessed the lively arrival of new ad-less social media platform Ello.
WhatsApp can function on many different types of phones and is free of advertising, with the only form of revenue coming from an annual subscription fee of less than one euro, which is waived for the first year of use.
While unlikely that the advent of Ello has had anything to do with Facebook’s recent pledge, the chatter created by the new service could prompt social media marketers to rethink their strategies going forward, as the blunt and direct attack on Facebook’s methods will likely appeal to the conscience of many a user concerned by internet privacy.
Whether the success of this new platform will create enough pressure to keep WhatsApp free from advertising in the long term will be intriguing to see.
However, any adverts that do make their way into what is solely a personal messaging service could prompt a response that only serves to strengthen the stance taken by Ello, who themselves must resist the temptation to monetise its service in this way.