WhatsApp founder Jan Koum announced this Monday that the company is dropping the subscription fees to access the popular messaging service. Through this subscription service, that was introduced a few years ago, users were forced to pay a 99 cents annual fee after the first year. Eventually the company has 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,” the company wrote in a blog post.
Most original users were granted a free lifetime service from WhatsApp who have been using the app for a long time. However, in the recent years the company introduced its subscription service for its new users. Until now, the service has been free for the first year and 99 cents for the additional years. It will take a few weeks before the company’s payments infrastructure is completely out of all versions of the app, after that it will stop charging immediately. In case you are wondering what will happen to the money you’ve paid already, sorry, but you won’t get that back.
Many of you might think WhatsApp is going to introduce third party ads. The company assured that’s not going to happen. However, they will start testing tools from this year that lets you use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organizations that you want to hear from. May be in the near future, you will be able to know from your bank about your transaction, account balance through a text message or phone call. With nearly 1 billion users, this free timing is going to remove the barrier for millions more to join the messaging service.