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Facebook abandons plan to sell ads in WhatsApp, report says

The company still aims to bring ads to WhatsApp's Status feature.

Facebook no longer plans to sell ads in WhatsApp, according to a report. 
Angela Lang/CNET

Facebook has reportedly abandoned its plan to sell ads in messaging platform WhatsApp, according to a Thursday report by The Wall Street Journal. The company's decision to bring ads to the app is reportedly what led to the departure of WhatsApp's creators around two years ago. 

In recent months, WhatsApp dissolved a team dedicated to figuring out how to best integrate ads into the platform, people familiar with the matter told the Journal. That team's work was reportedly removed from WhatsApp's code. 

Facebook still plans to potentially bring ads to WhatsApp's Status feature, a company representative confirmed, though they didn't share a specific timeline for the move. The social media giant has been grappling with how to monetize WhatsApp, which it acquired in 2014 for $19 billion. Facebook says it's currently focused on features that let businesses connect with customers.  

First published Jan. 16, 2:36 p.m. PT.
Update, 2:54 p.m.: Adds comment from Facebook.