WhatsApp Drops All Subscription Fees And Goes Absolutely Free Forever
WhatsApp is without a doubt a household name in the world of instant messaging services, with over a billion users relying on the platform to send out texts, photos, videos and more amongst each other. Today, in order to take things up a notch, Facebook-owned WhatsApp has made the wonderful announcement that the service is now absolutely free to use with no subscription charges whatsoever.
WhatsApp Is Now Absolutely Free To Use Forever
While many are led to believe that WhatsApp is absolutely free to download and use, it's worth noting that the service asks for a subscription fee after one year of usage. Today, the company has announced that it is dropping those fees for good, and the service is now absolutely free to use across the board. It's also worth mentioning here that the changes will be reflected in a few weeks' time.
From the official WhatsApp blog:
Nearly a billion people around the world today rely on WhatsApp to stay in touch with their friends and family. From a new dad in Indonesia sharing photos with his family, to a student in Spain checking in with her friends back home, to a doctor in Brazil keeping in touch with her patients, people rely on WhatsApp to be fast, simple and reliable.
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.
As you can read in the snippet above, WhatsApp has realized the fact that many users around the globe do not have a credit or debit card in their possession, which in turn means that their model of charging users after a year doesn't work quite well. Keeping that very same thing in the light, WhatsApp will drop all usage charges in the next few weeks time.
Despite having a paid subscription plan in place it's staggering to see that the service has over a billion users worldwide. With today's announcement, it's likely that the number will push the boundaries even further.
In case you're wondering how WhatsApp plans to monetize its service from now on, the company has this to say on the topic:
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. 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.
Let's just hope that WhatsApp sticks to its word and doesn't introduce in-app ads!