Shocking: Facebook does the right thing for once

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Shocking! Shocking I tell you! When was the last time you heard that Facebook did anything right and good for consumers? Because I can’t really remember. But today, according to the Wall Street Journal, something positive happened.

The publication is saying that “Facebook Inc. is backing away from efforts to sell ads in WhatsApp, in a retreat from a controversial plan that drove the creators of the popular messaging service to resign more than 18 months ago, according to people familiar with the matter.”

What the what? It may be too late, but that’s a sensible decision at last. The WSJ is reporting that WhatsApp has disbanded the team that was developing the ads service and their code has been deleted from the app’s codebase. Good gracious.

The WSJ continues saying that Facebook now wants to enable ways for businesses to connect with their client, as many brands are already doing. In Europe and other countries around the world, people regularly use WhatsApp to connect with brands, get support and information. 

But there’s a big catch, of course

Great news, right? Well, the joy is over because the report also includes a note that says that Facebook is planning to add ads to WhatsApp, after all. It won‘t be in the actual chats, though. While those plans are on “ice”, Facebook is looking to put ads in the Status pane. Which, ok. Not as bad. 

And, of course, Facebook still has big problems regardless of this change in WhatsApp. Not only has the company had a few years of the very worst privacy record and complete disregard for its users, but it’s still adamant in allowing false advertisements in political ads, claiming that they don’t want to shut down the right for politicians to communicate and people could judge their lies anyway.

Still, a small win is a win, I guess. 

Jesus Diaz

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.