Whatsapp, the world’s most popular messaging platform announced that its mobile application will now be free for lifetime.
Prior to this announcement, Whatsapp was made free to smartphone users for the 1st year, after that it starts charging 99 cents (US) annually. However, users who downloaded Whatsapp continued to enjoy the service for free over the years as they weren’t forced to pay for the app. There are no difference between the paid and free version either.
With the new announcement, users who already paid the 99 cents (US) for the year won’t be getting a refund.
In its official blog, Whatsapp said:
[box type=”info” align=”aligncenter” ]…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.[/box]
Despite the new business model, the company said that Whatsapp will remain ad-free, that it won’t enable 3rd party ads within the service.
[box type=”info” align=”aligncenter” ]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.[/box]
WhatsApp, the messaging company Facebook bought in 2014 for $19 billion, has nearly 1 billion users, more than the 800 million Facebook Messenger active users. Whatsapp was launched in 2009.
The service allows smartphone users with mobile phone numbers to send & receive: text messages, images, video, location, audio media messages, and make voice calls. Whatsapp works on the following mobile operating system: iOS, Android, BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10, Windows Phone, Nokia Series 40, Symbian, Tizen & Firefox OS. On PC, Whatsapp Web can be accessed on browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Opera & Safari.
As of January last year, over 30 billion messages were being sent every day via Whatsapp.
[Source]– Whatsapp Blog