Popular messaging service WhatsApp today announced that the company is ditching its $0.99 subscription. Starting today, WhatsApp users would not need to pay $0.99 to continue using the app after 1 year. Previously, the company offered its service for free to users fort the first year. However, from now on, you will be able to use the service without spending a single penny forever — at least for now. In case you are wondering, the company is planning to remain ad-free.
In a blog post, the company stated:
“Nearly a billion people around the world today rely on WhatsApp to stay in touch with their friends and family. That’s why we’re happy to announce that WhatsApp will no longer charge subscription fees. For many years, we’ve asked some people to pay a fee for using WhatsApp after their first year. As we’ve grown, we’ve found that this approach hasn’t worked well. Many WhatsApp users don’t have a debit or credit card number and they worried they’d lose access to their friends and family after their first year. So over the next several weeks, we’ll remove fees from the different versions of our app and WhatsApp will no longer charge you for our service. Naturally, people might wonder how we plan to keep WhatsApp running without subscription fees and if today’s announcement means we’re introducing third-party ads. The answer is no.”
It seems like the company is teaming up with businesses to keep its service running. According to company’s blog post, it will be teaming up with companies starting this year to test tools that allow businesses to communicate with you and offer different services (if you want to hear from them). For example, you’d be able to check for your recent transaction with your bank right from your WhatsApp account. The company stated:
“Starting this year, we will test tools that allow you to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organizations that you want to hear from. That could mean communicating with your bank about whether a recent transaction was fraudulent, or with an airline about a delayed flight. We all get these messages elsewhere today – through text messages and phone calls – so we want to test new tools to make this easier to do on WhatsApp, while still giving you an experience without third-party ads and spam.”
WhatsApp reportedly has more than 900 million users worldwide. It will be interesting to see how the company’s service grows in the coming months. The company’s new announcement is certainly very interesting, and it could also change how we use messaging services in the future.