Now that WhatsApp co-founder has left Facebook, ads are probably coming to the service, says analyst

  • It’s likely that WhatsApp will start using ads now that its founder has left Facebook, according to Barclays analysts.
  • Facebook and WhatsApp previously disagreed on how to monetize the messaging app.
  • WhatsApp’s high number of daily active users and engagement could greatly benefit Facebook’s impression growth.

Now that WhatsApp founder Jan Koum has left Facebook, it’s likely that the service will use more ads, according to Barclays analysts.

“We’ve been told by many of our checks over the last few years that ‘once Jan leaves, that’s when the ads show up,'” Barclays analysts said in a note on Tuesday,

WhatsApp was bought by Facebook for $19 billion in 2014, making it Facebook’s largest acquisition. According to Barclays, there has been tension between the two teams about how to monetize the messaging app. Analysts predict that Koum’s departure means that Facebook may take this opportunity to monetize WhatsApp more aggressively, which could include an influx of ads.

While the future of WhatsApp’s business model is still unclear, Barclays points out that the app’s high number of daily active users and strong engagement could increase Facebook’s overall impression growth significantly.

Koum left Facebook on Monday, and the company confirmed he was not standing for re-election to the board on Tuesday. He gave no reason for his departure, but the Washington Post reported he was “worn down by the differences in approach” around a variety of issues, including ad-based revenue and data targeting.

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