WhatsApp’s top executive has refuted recent reports suggesting that Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, is planning to integrate advertising into the messaging platform. The denial came in response to a report published by the Financial Times.

Meta, WhatsApp’s parent company, has been exploring various ways to monetise WhatsApp and generate revenue from the messaging app, which has over 2 billion users worldwide. However, any plans to introduce ads on WhatsApp have faced resistance from both users and WhatsApp’s co-founders, who had initially promised an ad-free experience when the platform was launched.

Will Cathcart, the head of WhatsApp, took to Twitter to address the issue, stating that there are “no plans” to introduce ads on WhatsApp. He further emphasised that personal and business communication on WhatsApp will remain private and ad-free.

WhatsApp has been a part of the Meta family since the social media giant acquired it in 2014. Since then, Meta has been exploring ways to generate revenue from the messaging service without compromising user experience and privacy. WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption has been a key selling point for the platform, and introducing ads could potentially raise concerns about data privacy.

The Financial Times report suggested that Meta was working on a project called “Zion,” which aimed to integrate ads into WhatsApp’s Status feature, similar to how ads appear on Instagram Stories. WhatsApp’s Status feature allows users to share updates, photos, and videos with their contacts, and it’s one of the most widely used features on the platform.

Cathcart’s denial of these reports indicates that Meta is still grappling with how to balance the need for revenue with user expectations of privacy and an ad-free experience. The challenge lies in finding a sustainable business model for WhatsApp that doesn’t compromise its core values and functionality.

As of now, WhatsApp users can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that the platform’s top executive has reaffirmed its commitment to remaining ad-free. However, the question of how Meta plans to monetise WhatsApp in the future remains open, and users will likely continue to watch closely for any changes to the messaging app’s business model.