Good news to those who use Whatsapp to communicate with friends and family: the Facebook-owned company no longer plans to charge the $0.99 fee.
The announcement made on its blog read “.. 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.”
It was also quick to point that the loss in subscription revenue does not mean Whatsapp will introduce third-party ads.
Whatsapp is popular because unlike some applications like Skype and Facebook Messenger, it automatically builds contacts saved in your mobile device. This cross-platform utility also requires low data bandwidth to operate properly, and can be used to send voice, video and image media to an individual or several members in a chat group.
Instead of keeping the subscription model or introducing ads, Whatsapp is looking at partnerships with businesses to deliver messages and notifications to users using the app. For example, if a credit card company informs a user of a recent transaction or bill due date, Whatsapp may wish to take over as an efficient medium of communication.