Prepare to save a whole $1 every single year. WhatsApp has announced that it’s dropping its annual subscription fee. Yes, you heard it right. Today, WhatsApp has announced a pretty major shift in its business model. The popular chat client is going completely free.
Facebook-owned WhatsApp used to run on a trial model: users could use the app for free for a year. Subsequent years would cost $0.99 cents (53 INR) each. The paid model notably made WhatsApp stand out from the crowd, as almost every other social networking is free to use from the customer perspective. Although WhatsApp will stop charging customers from today, it will take a few weeks for the payment UI in apps to go away as app updates roll out to the store.
WhatsApp says although a 0.99 cent charge is not onerous, it prevented growth as a lot of customers do not have access to credit cards. This is its major motivation for taking out the annual revenue model. Naturally, users of WhatsApp will wonder how the application plans to monetize going forward
Re/code reports from a conference in Munich, Germany, that it’s scrapping the fee. WhatsApp founder Jan Koum reportedly explained at the event that the charging system “really doesn’t work that well.”
“It really doesn’t work that well,” said by Koum.“We just don’t want people to think at some point their communication to the world will be cut off.”
WhatsApp apparently has no plans to introduce ads to recoup its lost dollar payments. Instead, it plans to find new ways to connect its users with businesses and organizations, which it’ll be able to make money from. So now onwards you can use WhatsApp forever without spending any money.