The most famous mobile messaging service WhatsApp has announced today that it is waving off its annual subscription fee of $0.99. This fee was applicable after the first year of use.
According to an official blog post by WhatsApp, that the users will no longer be charged for using the the service which has been in use of nearly a billion people around the world. The founder of the WhatsApp, Jan Koum first disclosed it while speaking at the DLD conference in Munich.
While explaining the reason behind the move, the company felt that the approach of charging an annual subscription fee didn’t work well – that too because most of the users don’t usually have debit or credit card which is a required payment medium to pay subscription fee for the service.
WhatsApp also didn’t bother to tell that their users, having no access to the required payment solution, were worried they’d lose access to the service leading to a disconnection to their friends and family after their first year.
In pursuit of this action, the company needs time – namely a several weeks to update the WhatsApp application, which is available across all mobile platforms, so that users no longer be prompted with the “X days remaining of free subscription” message as well as the app will no longer have a payment option.
Why would WhatsApp go all free?
The company also assures that in place of a subscription fee there will no even be third party advertisement in app’s user experience. So users should stay calm about it as there will be no ads or spam during you use the app.
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.
The answer to, how the cost of the service will be managed, is just within the above statements. It’s pretty same idea behind Facebook Messenger, another messaging service from Facebook, which already offers users to chat with businesses. Payment features are also in process or get a ride through Uber.
To make it clear, instead of taking fees from the users of the app, the company has plans to generate revenue by offering options to businesses to connect with individuals.