WhatsApp has dropped its subscription fees to access the popular messaging service. WhatsApp introduced the fees a few years ago, forcing new users to pay an annual 99 cents subscription after the first year. “As we’ve grown, we’ve found that this approach hasn’t worked well,” admits WhatsApp in a company blog post today.
“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.”
If you’ve been using WhatsApp for the six years it has been available then you’ve probably never experienced the subscription fees. Most original users were granted a free lifetime service, but in recent years the company introduced its subscription to new users.
WhatsApp now has nearly 1 billion users, so the free timing removes the barrier for millions more to join the messaging service. The Facebook-owned service plans appears to be planning to generate revenue through services to businesses.
“We will test tools that allow you to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organizations that you want to hear from.”
The company also promises to stay away from adverts on the app.