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“Ad-Free” Apps Are Probably Never Going to Be A Thing

“No one wakes up excited to see more advertising, no one goes to sleep thinking about the ads they’ll see tomorrow.”

Not exactly the words you’d expect someone in the ad business to say, but WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum is going to have to walk back those claims now that the popular app has gotten into the ad game.

WhatsApp announced today that it will begin sharing user data with its parent company, Facebook, who will use the data to serve ads targeted at WhatsApp users. WhatsApp is not currently planning to serve ads in its app, however.

That WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum would relax his stance on advertising was evident to most the moment Facebook acquired the company for $22 billion in 2014.

Rereading his 2014 ad missive, from the WhatsApp blog, reveals some pretty stark language about Koum’s distaste with advertising and data collection.

More striking in light of today’s deal:

“These days companies know literally everything about you, your friends, your interests, and they use it all to sell ads.”

Companies, now, such as WhatsApp.

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